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John Lewis unveils experiential National Treasures summer campaign

Lauretta Roberts
26 April 2017

John Lewis has launches its summer campaign today which celebrates the best of British life, design and culture. The multi-platform National Treasures campaign will include the biggest ever programme of customer activity with hundreds of events planned.

The campaign will be activated in all 48 of John Lewis' stores as well as on its website and social channels. To create the look and feel for the campaign the department store asked customers what British summertime means to them and asked British illustrator Paul Thurlby to bring their answers to life.

Director of customer experience Peter Cross said: "There's nothing quite like the Great British summer. While we may be a nation of shoppers, pet-lovers and tea-drinkers all year round, there's something about the summer that makes everything a bit more special. It's the time when ice creams by the seaside, long afternoons in packed-out parks and grabbing an umbrella (just in case) become our national pastimes."

"In fact, we'd go so far as to call them our national treasures. That's why John Lewis has put together a programme of special events and experiences in collaboration with your best-loved home-grown brands. All of our favourite things. All summer long," Cross added.

In what will be a first for the department store, windows and interiors will be transformed by Thurlby's collection of illustrations that epitomise the customs, spaces, places, people and habits that the British "hold dear as a nation". In addition, 220 life size characters will be a central feature in the Oxford Street atrium.

John Lewis

Oxford Street Atrium

"The Great British summer is truly special. I hope these scenes I created really epitomise the nation's most treasured quintessential moments, traditions and humour – all integral to our national identity. From 'beside the seaside' to 'all you need is tea' it's been interesting exploring what makes us all brilliantly British from our nation's characteristic design to our diversity and culture.  I'm looking forward to seeing the illustrations come to life in shops across the country this summer, and hope they make people smile," Thurlby said.

A series of events and workshops are planned and are intended to transform John Lewis in to a "destination of discovery". Themes include scent discovery, wellbeing, creative barbecues and print making.

In addition National Treasures pop-up shops will appear in full-line stores. The full scale greenhouses will be a "multi sensory experience", brought to life with lifesize national treasures illustrations, exhibiting best-selling products from iconic British brands including Mulberry, Hunter, Dyson, Tom Dixon, Dualit, Wedgwood and Dartington.

At its flagship store on Oxford Street visitors to the John Lewis Gardening Society rooftop a pub, the Gardeners Arms, will be installed and customers will have the chance to reserve a "summer house" with private herb and flower garden and outdoor seating or head to the larger "pavilion" to sample British-inspired food and drink.

Peter Jones in Chelsea will the exclusive Wedgwood Tea Conservatory, running for three weeks from 24 May within the ground floor atrium space. The Wedgwood Tea Conservatory will serve a floral-inspired tea in a one of a kind luxurious Wedgwood setting.

Cross commented: "We've come together with some of the country's best brands and most talented national treasures to bring what we believe to be a collection of truly inspiring, immersive, interesting and innovative experiences to our customers across the country. Customers will be able to visit our shops and leave having learnt, laughed at, tried and tasted some of our nation's absolute favourite things, which we know our customers love."

The campaign runs until 20 August.

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