John Lewis

Buster the Boxer Likes To Bounce.

Every year British department store chain John Lewis goes all in on their holiday marketing campaign, and this year is no exception. From the TV commercial, “Buster’s Garden” to the extended length YouTube spot, the VR 360 companion video and the website, plus social media (they have a dedicated Snapchat filter you can get) they have pulled out all the stops. The video is a really nice blend of CG and live action with a story that ties it all together. The concept is built around the story of a little girl called Bridget who loves to bounce. When her mom and dad buy her a trampoline for Christmas, they soon discover that she isn’t the only one with a passion for jumping.

If you click through to YouTube and select the more information section you will see where John Lewis has partnered with the Wildlife Trusts to help protect and restore our nation’s wildlife and natural habitat for our children today and in the future. I addition there are options to sign up for additional videos that will be posting this holiday season and the usual hooks to social media as well. The microsite does a really solid job of integrating the extended content and encouraging visitors to do more than just shop. While shopping is encouraged and there are really strong ties to product related specifically to the advertising, there are additional calls to action with Bring Skills to Life which ties the campaign to real world activities children can engage with at home.

One of the things that I think is really interesting, and I wish I were going to the UK to see it in person, is the fact that John Lewis has created Buster’s Garden at a number of their stores allowing you to explore the space using Oculus Rift technology. Like the rest of the campaign, its a nice blend of technology and the physical store environments.

High Street Store John Lewis Celebrates 150 Years in 60 Seconds.

Serious editing built this clever spot for British store John Lewis. The ad celebrates John Lewis’ 150th anniversary on High Street, by creating an upbeat commercial built around the 1970 Kinks hit, “This Time Tomorrow”. The song is performed by the former lead singer of Supergrass, Gaz Coombs.

Over the course of the sixty second spot director Dougal Wilson and editor was Joe Guest create a joyous and celebratory look at life in Britain from past to present, reflecting the fact that John Lewis has been ever present in their customers’ lives, changing and responding to their needs over the past 150 years. The piece is tied to a social media campaign around the tag line, “You’ve never stood still. Neither have we. And the hash tag #JL150″.

“The Bear and the Hare”. John Lewis’ 2013 Holiday Spot

The video below is a great example of where big budgets, and enough time pay off. Costing 1.6 million, and taking more than 6 months to produce, this is the latest ad for John Lewis department stores int he UK. Produced by BlinkInk and Hornet, it combines traditional hand drawn cell animation with miniature sets. The spot features the return of Lily Allen covering Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and has that oh so special touchy feelie  component to it. I love the fact that they combined traditional cell based animation with the miniature sets. It really helps make the spot.

“The Journey”, for John Lewis. Advertising That Tells a Story.

I love it when a TV spot transcends the typical and actually tells a good story in 30 seconds. Produced by adam&eveDDB, and directed by Blink’s Dougal Wilson, this spot is a follow up to last years The Long Wait commercial for John Lewis. Set to a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “The Power of Love” by Gabrielle Aplin the spot tells the story of a snowman’s journey leading up to Christmas morning.
The spot opens in a snow-covered garden, where two children are making a snowman and snowwoman. The following morning the snowman has mysteriously disappeared. From here the audience is transported to a magical world, where you follow the snowman on his  journey through the forest, across rivers, mountains, and into the city. As the story unfolds, the motive for the snowman’s adventure isn’t revealed until the last scene, when we see his return to the garden on Christmas morning.Like last years spot, this works for me because it is less about trying to sell me something, and more about a well made wonderful, sweet little story that I can simply appreciate.