Everything you love about John Lewis Christmas ads by adam&eveDDB– they’re all in this one. A child, his unconventional friend, their friendship, the little moments of humour…making you cry.
It may be a tried-and-true formula but so is everything else about Christmas. Tried-and-true is what we love about Christmas.
Unexpected Guest is the story of a boy called Nathan and a space traveller, Skye. Nathan discovers and befriends Skye, who has landed in the woods beside his home. There’s more than a touch of E.T. appeal. Nathan teaches Skye about Christmas trees and Skye tries to eat a mince pie while it’s still in its tinfoil case – and spoiler alert, sorry – ultimately, Skye has to go home. Nathan also introduces Skye to the joy of thoughtful gifting by giving her his Christmas jumper. The idea behind the commercial is that we get to see the magic of Christmas through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it before.
The commercial is directed by Australian, Mark Molloy, who is also the talent behind the magic of Apple Homework and Apple The Underdogs.
Claire Pointon, director of customer, commented, “There is nothing more magical than discovering the joy of Christmas for the first time and enjoying your favourite festive moments with loved ones. After the last 18 months, we wanted our advert to really celebrate this as we look forward to a brighter future. We know our customers are excited for this festive season more than ever, as they reconnect with family and friends. Through the story of Skye and Nathan we celebrate friendship and are reminded of the joy of experiencing Christmas for the first time.”
The commercial’s mellow soundtrack is performed by Lola Young, a 20 year old singer-songwriter from South London, who was chosen for her rich and unique sound that underlines the commercial’s magic and the friendship that develops in the story. The track, Together in Electric Dreams, was originally released by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder in 1984.
Lola Young stated, “I feel super honoured to be a part of this, growing up I always watched the John Lewis Christmas adverts, they’re iconic and so it kinda feels surreal getting asked to be in one. It also means a lot as an up and coming artist to be a part of something this special. Together In Electric Dreams is a very beautiful song. I love that era of music and I think Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder are incredible. The lyric and soul within the song is something inspirational, fitting to the story within the ad. I feel so excited to be covering it and working with John Lewis.”
This year, 3.7m My John Lewis members got to see the advert via their exclusive email access from 6.30am on Thursday, November 4, before it launched on the John Lewis website and social media channels at 8am. The ad made its TV debut that evening at 8.15pm on ITV, in a special premiere during The Pride of Britain Awards.
A version of Nathan’s Christmas jumper that he gifts to Skye will be available in our shops and on johnlewis.com in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes and the company will donate 10% of the profits for each jumper sold equally to its Give a Little Love charities FareShare and Home-Start UK. The advert will also be easy to explore and shop on the John Lewis website, customers will be able to shop key scenes and make purchases directly from them.
A first for us this year, My John Lewis Members will also be able to interact with the commercial. They will have exclusive access to a virtual experience on the app and website, Unexpected Guest: The Experience. Members will be able to take on the character of Nathan and explore the world of the advert through his eyes, discovering AR characters and downloadable prizes for children such as printable toys and activities. There will also be hidden characters from previous John Lewis adverts waiting to be found and new and exclusive content will be dropped into the game on a weekly basis such as behind-the-scenes footage not seen anywhere else.
Creative Agency: adam&eveDDB
Production Company: Smuggler
Director: Mark Molloy
Producer: Ewen Brown
Production Manager: Marketa Husecka
DOP: Greig Fraser
Production Designer: Nathan Parker
Costume Designer: Rosa Dias
Hair & Makeup Artist: Michele Baylis
Casting: Ali Fearnley
Media Planning & Buying Agency: MG OMD