Saturday the 9th of November saw the unveiling of John Lewis’ new 2013 Christmas advert, an event which has solidified itself as one of the most anticipated moments of the festive season each year.
The advert, after initially being debuted online, made its first television appearance on ITV during the X Factor. A whole advert slot was booked up for the broadcast of the advertisement, which reportedly resulted in ITV having to reschedule the whole evening, and even needed to be signed off by Simon Cowell himself.
It follows the animation of a doe-eyed rabbit and his best friend who is a bear, which is opened with the caption “There was once an animal who had never seen Christmas”. Walking through the woods together, the bear steadily gets more tired as it draws nearer to his annual hibernation. The rabbit is noticeably upset at not being able to spend the festivities with his best friend, and as the bear goes for his big sleep, he sneaks in and drops off a little present. On Christmas day, the bear is awoken from his slumber by the present from his friend – an alarm clock. The advert is closed off with the reminder to “Give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget”.
With input from individuals with the likes of The Lion King and Pocahontas on their CV’s, this Disney inspired advertisement was the first in UK history to use traditional hand drawn frames, using stop-motion animation to create the final outcome. Their entire Christmas campaign reportedly had a £7million budget, however only £1million of which was spent on the actual filming of the advert. Special “behind the scenes” footage has been released showing just how much hard work and concentration was put in to creating the 2 minute piece.
Online, the advert has already been viewed over 6 million times, an unbelievable figure especially when it is taken into account that it is not yet even December, and last year’s campaign falls behind at just under 4 million views over a year since its release. John Lewis have stated that they are “overwhelmed” by the response the advert has generated. With the use of social media to create excitement prior the reveal, such as the #sleepingbear preview trend, John Lewis turned the reveal of the advert not only into an occasion, but a signifier that Christmas really is coming soon.