Monday, 14 November 2011

Retailer Gets Christmas

I am not normally fussed by the pre-Christmas advertising campaigns of the big retailers - too many memories, most difficult (about retail Christmases being a hard slog and wholly devoid of religion for the most part).

Until last night...

An ad appeared between the many bouts of Gladiator TV that knocked me and Mrs Acular sideways - and it was courtesy of John Lewis. [Link to You Tube courtesy of Martin]

In summary, we were treated to a tale of a boy who is wishing and willing for Christmas to come. He tries to play magic tricks with time, willfully move the hands of the clock faster, and so on. On Christmas Eve, we saw the little lad bolt down his peas, and sprint to bed, clamping shut his eyes in an effort to bring Christmas into view with greater speed than time will allow. I think at this point we could all relate, though in the first viewing did not realise that we were misjudging the motivations of this rather enchanting kid.

Christmas morning dawned and the boy jumped out of bed, paused to regard his mountain of gifts, but darted past them for a parcel secreted in his own cupboard. He retrieved a poorly wrapped (but wrapped none the less) gift and ran in to his parents' bedroom.

His joy was in giving, not in receiving. If ever a perfectly wonderful unexpected heart-warming tears-inducing story-end to a two-minute advert ever existed, I can't remember it. Mrs Acular wept, I swallowed tears back! 

Well done, John Lewis - nail on head!

Perhaps hope really does spring eternal!


  1. Not having TV at the moment I have yet to see the ad in question, but it sounds like a refreshing change from the eternal I want, T want....

  2. Interesting you say that, I was talking about it with someone last night and we agreed it was even more insidious than most retail Christmas ads.

    Is it not basically saying "look kids, it's not enough just to enjoy yourselves - you have to save up all your pocket money and buy your parents a big expensive thing from John Lewis"?

    I suppose the box might contain something he'd made at school or something equally charming, but we don't know that, and to me the implication is that young children are no longer exempt from the commercial orgy of spending a fortune on crap no-one really wants because we think they'll like it. (Separate rant about present-buying available separately).

  3. Martin, I agree that that is one interpretation, and one that normally I would the first to arrive at. I felt, though, that this captured a very real sense of the 'feel-good' of Christmas, the giving and the seeing of reaction - and that it was an advert that said 'this kid is not all out for himself, but wants to please others'

    ...of course I might just be going soft!

  4. And I might just be overly cynical! For anyone who's not seen it, the advert is here:

    I think it's telling that already a whole theme has grown up surrounding what his gift actually is (Charlie Brooker thinks it's the severed head of a dog), so obviously the advert is "bold" and "different" enough to get people talking about it.

    Maybe it all does depend on what's in the box - if it's a handmade clay mug you can't lift with both hands then that's all brilliant and very 'spirit of Christmas'. If it's a brand new juicer with all the bizarre unnecessary attachments, John Lewis can **** off.

  5. I saw the ad last night and thought it was refreshingly brilliant. The message that giving is better than receiving is a welcome one ...

  6. I now want to see that ad.
    The description of the joy of giving made me think of the children's birthdays (when they were very little) when I would go to bed as excited as they were imagining how they would react to their presents!

  7. for the past few years I have given 12 very small gifts to a very dear friend who fell on hard times 3 or 4 years ago just to brighten the pre Christmas material madness. Last year I was unable to do this due to our hard times & I was miserable. The joy I get from giving I found was much bigger than I had ever thought.
    This year Kirsty's homemade gifts have nothing on me. I have been making my 12 gifts & no papermache or salt dough is involved....yet :-)
    Loved the ad, it made me damp around the eyes too x



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...