Select Page

Brand Kinship John Lewis & Partners

The John Lewis Partnership is a British company which operates John Lewis & Partners department stores, and Waitrose & Partners supermarkets, is a privately-held, public limited company, owned by a trust on behalf of all its employees.

Another noteworthy John Lewis and Waitrose partnership, is the collaboration between them and their Advertising Agency of long-standing, adam&eveDDB, London, UK. 

For over a decade, their effective initiatives in conceiving and producing festive season campaigns and commercials of renown, that are eagerly anticipated by viewers, have become not only a British institution, but also of much interest to marketing and advertising practitioners globally.

1. John Lewis & Partners, For All Life’s Moments

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Production Company: MJZ, London, UK

Directed by filmmaker Juan Cabral, the emotive commercial to introduce retailer John Lewis & Partners’ new brand promise ‘For All Life’s Moments’, is a touching chronological depiction of parenting milestones. 

The aim of the communication proposition ‘For All Life’s Moments’, is to highlight the John Lewis & Partners company’s guiding business making decisions, of products, services, and equitable pricing experiences, that connect with consumer relevancy to important, as well as mundane moments, of every-day life.

The emotive “moments that matter to you, matter to us” commercial, features a soundtrack of “La La Lu” by Peggy Lee.

2. John Lewis & Partners, Unexpected Guest

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Production Company: Smuggler, London, UK

Post Production and VFX Studio: nineteentwenty, London, UK

The festive season advertising campaign for John Lewis & Partners, centres on the ‘Unexpected Guest’ commercial about young lad Nathan’s heart-warming close encounters of a space traveller, named Skye.

Australian filmmaker Mark Molloy, skilfully directs stellar performances from his young stars, as the story unfolds of young Skye, as seen through her eyes, discovering earthlings’ magic of Christmas. 

In the film, Nathan gives Skye a departing Christmas gift of a knitted garment, replicas of which could be purchased in children and adult sizes, with 10% of each store-sale donated to ‘Give a Little Love’ charities.

‘Unexpected Guest’ virtual experiences were made available via apps, on the John Lewis & Partners company’s websites.

The featured soundtrack of Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder’s “Together in Electric Dreams”, is performed by 20 year old rising star, singer-songwriter Lola Young, from South London.

3. John Lewis & Partners, Eva and Excitable Edgar

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Production Company: Blink, London, UK

VFX and Post Production Company: Untold Studios, London, UK

Filmed in a picturesque Hungarian village, and directed by filmmaker Dougal Wilson with his masterly storytelling skill, the ‘Eva and Edgar’ scenario makes for charming Christmas viewing fare for the whole family.

The Integrated campaign about friendship and caring, included in-store merchandising of a variety of ‘Excitable Edgar’ gift offerings. 

The soundtrack of singer-songwriter Mara Carlyle, and British Conductor Hugh Brunt’s music arrangement, performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra, features the classic Bastille band’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling”, with lead singer Dan Smith.

4. John Lewis & Partners, Bohemian Rhapsody

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Production Company: Blink, London, UK

Directed by filmmaker Dougal Wilson, who skilfully elicits sterling performances from his cast of 82 children and 11 adults, the charming story, filmed over 5 eventful days, and featuring Queen’s resonant “Bohemian Rhapsody” soundtrack, makes for utterly delightful viewing.

5. John Lewis & Partners, The Boy and The Piano

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Production Company: Academy Films, London, UK

Post Production and VFX: Moving Picture Company, London, UK

Filmmaker Seb Edwards directed the excellently crafted scenario about how the power of a thoughtful, loving Christmas gift, can be inspiringly formative and influential in a young child’s future direction in life.

The commercial stars Sir Elton John, who looks back to that Christmas morning in his youth, when he received a special gift that changed his life.

He described the commercial as; “a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my life in music and the incredible journey I have been on, and how first playing a piano, marks the moment when music came into my life”.

“The ad is absolutely fantastic and I’ve truly loved every minute of being a part of it”.

And as a Christmas gift, he donated a generous portion of his fee to the Elton John Charitable Trust.

6. John Lewis & Partners, Moz The Monster

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London UK

Production Company: Partizan, London, UK

Post Production Studio: The Mill, London, UK

Academy award-winning screenwriter Michel Gondry directed this 2017 Christmas commercial that involved a huge, ‘Sesame Street’ inspired, puppet operated by two people inside, and filmed live in a London studio.

The soundtrack features a classic Beatles song, “Golden Slumbers” from their 1969 Abbey Road album, that was re-recorded for the commercial, by English rock band Elbow from Bury, Manchester.

John Lewis’s customer director Craig Inglis, explained the communication rationale of the integrated campaign:

“This year’s Christmas campaign brings to life the power of children’s imaginations and the joy of great friendships. Moz and Joe’s story is magical and heartwarming”.

The insightful commercial motivated 18,260 mentions in the first three hours following its release, with many viewers proclaiming it to be the best John Lewis Christmas commercial ever.

But some viewers however, feeling that the story was a bit lacking in the festive spirit and exuberant mood they were expecting, were less generous with their praise.

7. John Lewis & Partners, Buster the Boxer

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Directed by filmmaker Dougal Wilson, the commercial according to Campaign magazine was the most shared on social media in 2016. It motivated 137 million views in the first week of its festive season campaign’s launch.

Chief Marketing Officer of Brandwatch, Will McInnes, summed up the campaign’s consumer appeal as follows:

“As marketers, we know that a great ad is all about eliciting emotions. Its classic big brand storytelling, meets distribution in the social age”.

“Essentially people won’t share boring content and John Lewis knows it. In a world where our attention is pulled in so many different directions, it’s a reminder that a good story still matters”.

The soundtrack, which features a cover version of Randy Crawford’s 1980 hit, “One Day I’ll Fly Away”, performed by British electronic trio the ‘Vaults’, was recorded at the famous Abbey Road studios and topped the YouTube’s annual festive leaderboard globally.

8. John Lewis & Partners, Sam and Monty The Penguin

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London UK

Production Company: Blink, London, UK

Animation and VFX: Moving Picture Company (MPC), London, UK

Superbly directed by filmmaker Dougal Wilson, with the MPC VFX team lovingly crafting Monty for over five months for integration in a real-life environment, this 2014 Cannes Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix, and Film Craft Grand Prix winner was described by jury president Andrew Robertson as follows: 

“Everything the Cannes festival stands for. It’s beautiful, emotional work for a retail brand that was proven to have contributed to revenue growth of 132 million pounds”.

‘Monty The Penguin’ motivated 212,000 tweets, 165,000 online views and ‘shares’ across all social channels, that totalled 29 million. Overall, the campaign delivered a staggering 568 million impressions.

The integrated campaign included a ‘Monty App’ that hit the ‘iTunes Kids’ chart top spot with more than 500,000 interactive sessions.