Arguably the most anticipated ad of the year (save for January’s lamb spot) has arrived with UK retailer John Lewis’ annual (and typically epic) Christmas ad dropping overnight.
This year’s iteration seems to follow a similar theme as the other UK retailers’ 2019 festive spots – cute and kid-focused, with an old, worldly and yesteryear approach.
And, it’s definitely a departure from the retailer’s epic Elton John spot from 2018.
The ad, by incumbent agency adam&eveDDB, features an adorable young girl and her equally adorable (and slightly hapless) dragon, Edgar.
And this could be just B&T, but Edgar looks remarkably similar to the “Little Dragon” created by Saatchi & Saatchi for Aussie bank St George that fronted its ad campaigns between 2017 and 2018.
Check out the John Lewis spot below and a St George ad from 2017:
St George’s “Little Dragon” even got his own Christmas ad last year, however, it’s strangely been removed from YouTube since. Here’s a still from the spot:
Edgar the dragon could prove a lucrative move for John Lewis, who is set to cash-in on the little green monster’s cute cachet by selling Edgar plush toys for £15 ($A28). There’ll also be Edgar Christmas puddings for £8 ($A15), and Edgar cupcakes called ‘Chocolate Edgars’ and a £1.50 ($A2.80) Edgar gingerbread biscuit.
And the retailer probably needs to get its cash back. Last year’s Elton John spot reportedly cost £1 million ($A1.9 million) to make and included a further £6 million ($A11.3 million) in media spend. As yet, there’s no news on Edgar’s budget.
Commenting on this year’s ad, John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis said: “It started from a spark of an idea – a little dragon’s excitement about Christmas – and became the story of how someone goes the extra mile for their best friend to give just the right gift.
“It’s a funny, heart-warming story that will resonate with our customers as they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones this Christmas.”
Not to suggest that Edgar and Little Dragon were separated at birth, but John Lewis found itself accused of plagiarism with its Elton John spot last year. Check out B&T’s reporting of that story here.
London agency Fold 7 claimed the John Lewis/aadam&eveDDB spot was remarkably similar to an ad it made from Gumtree back in 2016.
Fold 7 didn’t push its claims further and John Lewis neither commented nor retracted the spot. Check out the Gumtree ad and John Lewis’ Elton John spot below and compare for yourself: