You could say Christmas has finally arrived with the highly-anticipated John Lewis festive spot dropping overnight.
Arguably the most examined piece of creative globally all year, 2023’s efforts come from newly appointed agency Saatchi & Saatchi who won the pitch this year from incumbent adam&eveDDB.
As Saatchi CCO Franki Goodwin said of making the spot: “Taking on the John Lewis Christmas ad – no pressure, right? It has been quite the six months.
“I really do appreciate that pressure is a privilege – and making this has been a huge one,” Goodwin said.
The work stars a young lad who grows and befriends a rather un-festive Venus Flytrap called Snapper who has a fondness for opera (which is actually an original tune sung by none other than Andrea Bocelli!)
The look-hard-or-you’ll miss it moment comes when we see the father is absent in the family set-up of mum, nan, sister and the young boy.
Watch it below and and read the reactions to the ad under the video.
Speaking to UK trade site Campaign, Ogilvy’s global ECD, Daniel Fisher, said of the work: “I’m not sure this quite amounts to radical re-invention as interesting evolution… After all, this campaign was always going to be the one that the industry wanted to hate, but the real world will want to love.”
“Maybe I’m dead inside, but the emotion wasn’t quite there,” said Sue Higgs, ECD at dentsu Creative.
While Sanam Petri, global chief creative officer at SillyFace, added: “It wasn’t quite Christmassy enough.”
“Ok. Firstly, I want to say bravo to the Saatchi & Saatchi team. This is both the hardest and best brief in the industry and in my opinion, they haven’t messed it up,” said Nicky Bullard, group CCO at MullenLowe Group UK.
And here’s some media reaction from everyday Brits who, it must be said, take their Christmas ads very seriously indeed.
What a beautiful Christmas advert from John Lewis. https://t.co/kgqYQYDogC
— Jacqui (@JacquiB80644876) November 9, 2023
I’m sorry but every year I’m increasingly certain that John Lewis will never top their 2011 the long wait Christmas advert
— Kristina 💜 Eras Tour London (@wonder13struck) November 9, 2023
— Tom Glenwright (@Tom_Glenwright) November 9, 2023
— tasha louise | 𝙰𝚞𝚝𝚞𝚖𝚗 🍂 (@eds_afterglow) November 9, 2023
Love the new John Lewis Christmas Advert. pic.twitter.com/qWEle1q8Pz
— Chris Quilietti (@ChrisQ_1) November 9, 2023
Pretty sure Venus fly traps can’t withstand cold temperatures, so that’s a very irresponsible advert. #DionaeaSupportersClub
— HappyToast★ (@IamHappyToast) November 9, 2023
John Lewis YOU HAD ONE JOB! All you had to do was put a bloody dog or a racoon in your advert then people would love it. This is terrible lol. https://t.co/yvu62dizX7
— BAB ABOUT TOWN (@Bababouttown) November 9, 2023
— Claire-Louise (@cluurlouise) November 9, 2023
I studied Advertising at uni and used to love the John Lewis advert coming out every year. It’s a bit odd this year. 🤣pic.twitter.com/dIDsfrfq8t
— Forever Everton // Rob (@F0reverEvert0n) November 9, 2023
Not even Andrea Bocelli can save this John Lewis Christmas ad.
They have eschewed the tear jerker that has been so good for them before.
They have even eschewed wokeness.
Yet they have put something together that is about changing Christmas and traditions. Using a Venus Fly… pic.twitter.com/sigZbs1xrI
— Miss Jo (@therealmissjo) November 9, 2023
Not really sure how I feel about the plant eating thing in the John Lewis Christmas advert or the music choice 🤨🧐 not very Christmasy for me. @JohnLewisRetail #johnlewis #johnlewischristmasflop pic.twitter.com/pI9FqF8pV3
— Terry_Mounsey (@mounsey_t) November 9, 2023
— John Lewis & Partners (@JohnLewisRetail) November 9, 2023