John Lewis’s 2021 celestial Christmas ad shows magic of Christmas through eyes of an #UnexpectedGuest

If an alien came down to Earth at Christmas time, what would they think of our festive traditions? Would they gawp perplexed at carol singers and wonder why we create people out of snow?

As the world gets more mesmerised by the potential of space, this thought is at the centre of John Lewis & Partners’ Christmas campaign, “Unexpected guest”, which tells the tale of an unlikely friendship between a young boy called Nathan and space traveller Skye.

Created in partnership with John Lewis’ long-term ad agency, Adam & Eve/DDB, with media planning and buying from MG OMD, this year’s Christmas ad responds to the customer insight that people want joy this year, after a disappointing festive season in 2020. It also arrives a week earlier than usual, as research shows people are eager for Christmas to begin.

“Joy and escapism came out as it as keywords,” Claire Pointon, the customer director, said about the insight behind John Lewis’ Christmas ad this year.

“We wanted to get across that Christmas is not just about gifting. There are many moments that make up Christmas – whether that is decorating the tree or hosting your family and friends. There are many moments that we heard our customers really missed last year.”

She added that last year the brand had to strike the right tone in terms of the mood of the nation, which is why it focused on kindness with “Give a little love”.

We kicked off our campaign on Nov 2nd with OOH experiential, where we saw two spaceships crash landing in London and Newcastle, generating intrigue and talkability prior to launch. This clever tease has captured the nation’s interest and was trending on Twitter the night before the launch, building up the excitement, driving great earned media!

The ad will have its TV debut on 4th November 2021, at 8.15pm,  premiering during The Pride of Britain awards with a special introduction from ITV.

MG OMD FWD 3rd November

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