Tissues at the ready, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: the John Lewis Christmas advert has landed. If there’s ever a sign that Christmas is well and truly upon us, it’s the annual drop of the one festive advert that pulls on our heartstrings and makes even the most committed of scrooges feel Christmassy.
In the past, the retailer has treated us to many tear-jerkers, including a middle-aged man teaching himself to skateboard and a snowman shopping for his wife. We’ve had heart-warming adventures such as The Bear and The Hare and even an advert tracing the glories of Elton John’s career. So what’s in store this year?
For 2023, we meet Snapper, a mischievous Venus fly trap who loves everything about Christmas. The advert, titled ‘Snapper, the perfect tree’, begins with a young boy buying a seed at a market. He lovingly cultivates the seed, believing it will grow into the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree, but it soon becomes clear that Snapper is far from traditional.
Soon he grows too big for the house, and there is a heart-wrenching moment when Snapper gets banished to the frosty garden and looks longingly through the window at the family's new Christmas tree, a traditional pine adorned with baubles and tinsel. But afterwards he is thankfully embraced back into family life, helping to unwrap the family's presents as they gather around their unconventional Christmas tree in the garden. True to style, it’s an emotional rollercoaster in the best possible way.
Watch the 2023 John lewis Christmas advert here:
Who does the music for this year's John Lewis advert?
The advert is soundtracked to music by the opera artist Andrea Bocelli, who performs a song called ‘Festa’, which means celebration, and is written and produced by Le Feste Antonacci specifically for the John Lewis advert. The rousing music helps to convey the joy and emotion behind the advert's key message, which is to celebrate old and new Christmas traditions and to capture the changing ways the nation spends the festive season.
‘We are a nation that loves the traditions of Christmas - from classic traditions like pantos and putting up the tree to evolving new ones like crafting our own presents and Zoom get-togethers. Many of us have our own unique festive traditions and that makes them even more special,’ explains Charlotte Lock, Customer Director for John Lewis. ‘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.'
The campaign, which is the first by Saatchi and Saatchi for John Lewis, follows research by John Lewis which found more of us are developing new Christmas traditions. These include wearing all-day Christmas pyjamas rather than getting dressed up and meeting loved ones outside, a tradition that grew during lockdown.
Snapper is at the centre of John Lewis' Christmas campaign, and merchandise, from slippers to tote bags and Christmas cards, will be available in all John Lewis shops, johnlewis.com and selected Waitrose shops. And if you can’t get enough of the soundtrack, then good news - it will be released in longer form as a charity single with a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of the single going to the John Lewis Partnership’s Building Happier Futures charities, which help care experienced young people and families in need.
Andrea Bocelli said 'I am delighted to take part in this wonderful and unique tradition of Christmas storytelling. It is very special for me given the great support this will bring to both the John Lewis and Andrea Bocelli foundations. Joy to all of your worlds this Christmas!'