John Lewis has officially confirmed that trailers that have been appearing on social media this week featuring a dog – Buster the Boxer – watching a young girl bouncing in various scenarios are indeed from its hotly anticipated Christmas 2016 ad.
The full ad has been revealed on social media this morning and will be shown on TV this evening at 9.15pm on ITV. It features real and CGI animals, along with a young girl called Bridget, played by a London actor called Summer.
The storyline centres on the Bridget’s obsession with bouncing (on beds, a space hopper and sofas) which is witnessed by her pet dog Buster. Meanwhile her father struggles to assemble a trampoline in the garden to surprise her on Christmas day and once it is up, Buster witnesses various woodland animals trying it out.
Before the little girl can run to her present on Christmas day, she is beaten to it by Buster who, it seems, is equally obsessed with bouncing. Set to soundtrack of Randy Crawford’s One Day I’ll Fly Away, reinterpreted by Blythe Pepino of British band Vaults, the ad ends with the line “Gifts that everyone will love”.
The £1m feel-good ad marks a move away from the “sadvertising” of the past. Last year’s Man on the Moon, featuring a lonely man on the moon who is sent presents via a bunch of hot air balloons by a little girl who is watching him from earth on her telescope, was considered too melancholy by some John Lewis customers.
As ever there is a charitable link with the ad with proceeds from sales of cuddly versions of the toys featured in the ad going to The Woodland Trust and a host of social media initiatives, such as a Buster Snapchat lens, will be employed to drive awareness.
This weekend an A level media student caused a sensation when his fake “Snowglobe” John Lewis Christmas ad, produced as part of his coursework, was mistaken for the real thing when it was uploaded onto YouTube. When the real trailers followed, industry watchers were careful not to claim them on behalf of John Lewis for fear of being caught out again.