John Lewis has launched its much-anticipated Christmas ad for 2023, celebrating the joy of new festive traditions with a Venus flytrap taking centre stage as an unconventional Christmas tree.
The campaign – the first by creative agency Saatchi and Saatchi for John Lewis – captures a new spirit of Christmas inspired by the many different traditions and ways people celebrate the festive season. Airing for the first time during Friday’s Gogglebox on Channel 4, the ad takes centre stage as part of John Lewis’ most interactive and shoppable campaign ever.
At the heart of the film is a wannabe Christmas tree named Snapper, a Venus flytrap who brings an unexpected twist to one family’s Christmas celebrations.
‘Snapper, the perfect tree’ – with the strapline ‘Let Your Traditions Grow’ – focuses on a young boy who believes he is growing a Christmas tree. The fast-growing plant soon becomes a life force of its own with a playful personality who wants to join in all the fun of Christmas.
The campaign will be run across all relevant channels, from AV and cinema to social and YouTube, with media planned and bought by Manning Gottlieb OMD. Ads will include shoppable formats through YouTube, C4 and Google with all products for sale through John Lewis website, app and shops.
This year’s ad also has the widest ever range of associated merchandise available in-store.
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“The film celebrates themes of family and evolving traditions and shows that a ‘perfect’ Christmas is finding joy together with loved ones, whatever your traditions,” said John Lewis customer director Charlotte Lock.
Saatchi & Saatchi managing director Sarah Jenkins added: “It’s an extraordinary privilege to be working with the John Lewis Partnership, and it’s particularly magical to be launching a campaign that celebrates all of the traditions – both eternal and evolving – that make Christmas so special to the nation.
“The race to be the number one Christmas ad brings extra festive spice and is such a brilliant embodiment of the skills and smarts of the UK’s incredible creative industries. We’re raising a glass to all.”
Snapper will be featuring as part of the iconic Christmas at Kew light trail as well as appearing in a series of seven 10” product-focused films. An AR filter will allow Meta users to bring Snapper into their own homes, while a digital advent calendar on the John Lewis app will see Snapper reward myJL members with exclusive rewards throughout December.
The soundtrack – by the legendary tenor Andrea Bocelli – will also be released as a charity single with a proportion of the proceeds going to the John Lewis Partnership’s Building Happier Futures charities, which helps care-experienced young people and families in need.