John Lewis advert review: 2020 showing doesn’t capture heart like Edgar

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The highly anticipated two-minute animation shows how good deeds can multiply and boost communities. It starts with a boy whose football is stuck in a tree and takes viewers through nine acts of kindness. Unveiled today for National Kindness Day, the campaign is called Give A Little Love and aims to raise £4million for FareShare, helping those facing food poverty, and Home-Start, which supports parents.

For the first time the retailer commissioned an original song for its Christmas blockbuster – by British soul singer Celeste – and the artist has pledged to make a 10p donation each time A Little Love is downloaded.

The retail partnership with Waitrose, forced to cut 2,800 jobs and close eight stores this year, at one point considered shelving the production.

James Bailey, executive director of Waitrose, said: “Our advertising this year will leave a lasting legacy and in that way we hope it won’t just be for Christmas.

“We did consider whether it was right to produce an ad at all.

“However, FareShare and Home-Start told us how much of a difference this campaign could make.”

Pippa Wicks, executive director at John Lewis, added: “We were humbled by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic.

“We want this campaign to be uplifting and to inspire everyone to give some kindness this Christmas, especially to those who need it most.”

The advert aired on social media this morning and will be screened during The Voice on ITV at 8.40pm tomorrow.

Review

This is a Christmas ad like no other, for a year like no other.

The John Lewis Partnership advert is bursting with the spirit of what the pandemic has taught us all this year – kindness goes a long way.

It is wonderful to immerse ourselves into a world where, even if just for two minutes, we could imagine a snowman helping a family when their car breaks down.

“As the festive animation rolls on it becomes clear that an act of generosity – no matter how big or small – makes a world of a difference.

The backing song reminds us all to “give a little love” – and my goodness is it catchy! I have no doubt I’ll be whistling the tune until the retailer’s next advert comes out in a year’s time.

I am not sure the ad captured my heart, but that’s because it already belongs to Excitable Edgar who set the nation’s hearts on fire with last year’s campaign.

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