John Lewis department store unveils its new Christmas ad, banking on a lovestruck snowman to leave viewers misty-eyed.
Last year’s John Lewis Christmas commercial it was a little boy with a big heart.
2012 Christmas advert, called The Journey, shows the extraordinary lengths some will go to in their search of the perfect gift for the person they love.
The 90-second commercial opens with children happily making a snowman and snowwoman in their snow-covered garden. But before they have time to wrap up the snowwoman with scarf and gloves, they are called inside by their mother.
Perhaps inspired by the Christmas classic tale The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, the snowman mysteriously disappears the next morning. We then see him undertake an epic journey, akin to Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, as he travels across fields, forests, rivers and sweeping mountains.
And just like in the hit film, these scenes for the advert where also filmed in New Zealand.
The snowman then braves the High Street and hides behinds some bins to avoid some youngsters having a snowball fight but his face lights up when he reaches his destination.
The motive for the snowman’s secret journey isn’t revealed until the last scene, when he returns on Christmas morning with gifts of a scarf and gloves for his wife. The slogan “give a little more love this Christmas” is then shown.
Gabrielle Aplin, a relatively unknown 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Bath, sings The Power Of Love, the 1984 hit from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, as the soundtrack (which will also be released today as a single).
The British department store will hope they have another hit on their hands, following the chart success of previous songs featured in their adverts.
This includes Ellie Goulding’s cover of Elton John’s Your Song which shot to number one after it featured in their 2010 Christmas offering. She went on to perform the song at the wedding reception of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as the couple had their first dance as man and wife.
Also in 2010, Fyfe Dangerfield climbed into the top ten with his cover of Billy Joel’s classic Always A Woman To Me after it was used in the High Street brand’s touching advert which showed a woman on the path of life from childhood to becoming a wife, mother and grandmother.
John Lewis has a hard act of follow with their latest advert as their 2011 Christmas broadcast touched the heart of the nation. The advert featured a little boy desperately waiting for Christmas because he was so excited about giving a gift to his parents.
The advert featured a moving cover of The Smiths Please, please, please let me get what I want, by the then unknown Amelia Warner, AKA Slow Moving Millie. Her version reached number 31 while The Smiths also re-entered the charts as people rushed to download the original.
John Lewis’ Marketing Director, Craig Inglis, said the message this year remains the same – that people want to show their nearest and dearest just how much they care at Christmas.
He said: “We know that our customers put real effort into finding the perfect gift for their loved ones at Christmas. This year’s ad brings that to life, with a creative twist.”
Craig Inglis added that he hopes people will take the snowman into their hearts just like they did with the little boy, played by Lewis McGowan, last year.
“When you watch it again and again you grow to love the snowman and start to look him as a human, and you look him in the same way you did the kid last year. The snowman becomes a metaphor for that child. The fact is we have to keep it interesting,” he said.