The highly-anticipated John Lewis 2022 Christmas advert has finally dropped — and it will pull at your heartstrings.
Titled The Beginner, the poignant 90-second advert is a heartwarming story about a middle-aged man who struggles to master the art of skateboarding. Encountering many mishaps and accidents, he doesn't stop giving up learning how to skate. The video shows him practicing at home, at the skatepark and even at work under his desk.
While it's unclear why he is learning to skate, we suddenly hear a knock at the door. As the man and his wife go to open it, we see a social worker standing there with Ellie, a young teenager who is waiting to enter her new foster home. Looking anxious, we now know why the man was learning to skate — Ellie is holding a skateboard.
The ad then sees Ellie walk into the home, when the man points at the skateboard and says: "It's not as good as yours". Ellie looks happy knowing she will have something in common with her new foster dad.
"Turbulent times worsen social inequalities, and Christmas is a time when this can be most keenly felt. It's more important than ever for our business to stand up and use our voice to make a difference where we can," Pippa Wicks, Executive Director at John Lewis, says.
"Our Christmas campaign is an important step in our long-term plans to become the employer of choice for young people leaving the care system, and to provide lasting change and hope for children like Ellie."
This year's soundtrack to the advert is set to All the Small Things, a cover of the Blink 182 track, performed by Mike Geier.
With an estimated 100,000 children in care, the advert wants to generate conversation and action around an often overlooked issue. The John Lewis Christmas advert follows the launch of the 'Building Happier Future' programme from the John Lewis Partnership, which is a long-term commitment to help young people with experience of the care system in a number of ways, including to find meaningful careers.
Imran Hussain, Director of Policy & Campaigns, Action for Children, adds: "At Action for Children we want every child to have a safe and happy childhood. Every year, we work with over 40,000 children and young people in, or with experience of, the care system, and we know the challenges and poor outcomes they may face.
"We are delighted to be working with the John Lewis Partnership on its iconic Christmas advert and applaud the company for its work and long-term commitment to shining a light on the issues facing some of the most vulnerable children in the country."
A recap of 2021's John Lewis Christmas advert
The John Lewis 2021 Christmas advert celebrated the magical moments of Christmas experienced for the first time.
It followed the story of alien Skye who met young boy Nathan after her space ship crashed. In the clip, he let Skye experience her very first Christmas, sharing mince pies and showing her how to decorate the tree.
Towards the end of the ad, it's time for Skye to fix her ship and return to her home planet. Bittersweet and heartwarming, Nathan gifts her his Christmas jumper — the one he wore when they first met. They might be parting ways, but their friendship will live on forever.
"There is nothing more magical than discovering the joy of Christmas for the first time and enjoying your favourite festive moments with loved ones," Claire Pointon, Director of Customer, says.
"After the last 18 months, we wanted our advert to really celebrate this as we look forward to a brighter future. We know our customers are excited for this festive season more than ever, as they reconnect with family and friends. Through the story of Skye and Nathan we celebrate friendship and are reminded of the joy of experiencing Christmas for the first time."
A recap of 2020's John Lewis Christmas advert
Titled 'Give a Little Love', the two-minute heartwarming John Lewis Christmas ad 2020 was released to make a lasting difference to some of those hit hardest during 2020.
It follows the story of various kind acts — both small and large — positively impacting the world in which we live in. The clip begins following two children playing in snow who get their football stuck in the tree above. After wondering what to do, the young girl decides to throw her umbrella up to see if it will work. As she does, it opens up into a red heart and knocks the ball down.
We then see different moments of kindness throughout the clip, switching from animation to real-life footage. Wonderfully, each scene is created to connect a long chain of giving, with each act of kindness leading to another. Some beautiful moments include the young boy saving a melting snowman, the snowman helping a man who has a flat tyre, someone delivering shopping to a neighbour and a pigeon giving a hat to a hedgehog.
James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose, said: "The pandemic has highlighted the growing inequalities across the country, with those who are already most vulnerable disproportionately impacted. Through our partnerships with FareShare and HomeStart we’re aiming to make a big difference to the lives of 100,000 families in the UK.
"Each year festive adverts come and go - and some are remembered more vividly than others. But our advertising this year will leave a lasting legacy - and in that way, we hope it won't just be for Christmas."
A recap of 2019's John Lewis Christmas advert
The John Lewis Christmas advert for 2019, entitled Excitable Edgar, told the story of an over-enthusiastic and slightly confused little dragon who can't quite control his fiery breath.
Edgar is best friends with a little girl called Ava, who wants nothing more than for her dragon companion to be able to join in with festive games. But, when Edgar gets over excited when he sees children in the local village making snow men and ice-skating, he bumbles in to join them before realising his hot breath will melt the snow, leaving both the snow man and the ice rink in puddles.
To the sound of Can’t fight this feeling, re-recorded by the lead singer of Bastille Dan Smith, events climax with Edgar accidentally setting the village Christmas tree on fire, even though he had tied a scarf around his nose to stop him breathing. He was so excited, though, that the flames came out of his ears instead. The villagers were not impressed.
Edgar ends up shutting himself away so he can't spoil Christmas any more than he believes he already has, while Ava waits outside his front door. But finally, Ava, who works in the local bakery, comes up with a genius use for Edgar's fire – lighting the Christmas pudding – and in doing so he brings the community together again.
A recap of 2018's John Lewis Christmas advert
In 2018, the John Lewis and Partners' Christmas advert featured Elton John as the star of the department store's iconic festive campaign.
The Boy & The Piano told the story of Elton's love of music – spurred by a special Christmas gift of a piano from his grandmother as a child.
The ad charted all the major musical moments in Elton's life in backwards chronological order: from putting on the incredible show he's known for today, to flying to his sell-out US tour and recording and performing his first hit, Your Song, which forms the soundtrack throughout.
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