It’s that time of year again, nothing quite says Christmas like a John Lewis advert. Its ok we can say that word now! It’s nearing that time, warm hot chocolate, Christmas carols, family gatherings, Christmas films and most of all (to some of us) presents!
It’s November, no longer do we have to whisper it quietly, no longer can the bar humbugs shut down our spirit. Christmas is coming and it’ll soon be here and gone before you know it!
Every year we all have our Christmas traditions, baking gingerbread men, putting the Christmas tree and decorations up, shopping etc. But one traditional that has captured the whole countries’ heart is the annual John Lewis Christmas Ad. It is now the start of the festive period, once the ad airs, you know it’s socially acceptable to bring in that festive cheer.
Before their latest Christmas ad aired, people were eagerly awaiting the latest instalment of John Lewis’ Christmas adverts. They have captured the meaning of Christmas in a nutshell. People actually demand and anticipate something that is actively trying to sell them something, it has now become a part of British identity, a tradition, a need. No other time of year would people be so open to being targeted to spend their hard-earned cash.
So let’s cut to the chase and go through each yearly instalment of John Lewis’ Christmas ads:
2007 (Shadow Christmas)
The start of John Lewis’ Christmas control.
2007 saw John Lewis make the decision to return to TV after a 3 year absence(What a decision that was!). Just 6 years ago John Lewis aired their 1stChristmas ad and in that time they have conquered the Christmas market!
Their 2007 Christmas ad entitled ‘Shadow Christmas’ saw John Lewis emerge at the front of innovation and take the lead from other retailers in the festive period.
The advert saw varying presents stacked and positioned in such a way that created a shadow of a woman and her dog, showcasing john Lewis’ vow to have the present for whoever you were looking for.
Let’s take a look back at the ad and see if you remember it:
2008 (From Me To You)
Once again the 2008 John Lewis Christmas ad showcased their belief they could cater for all members of the public.
This year they added a cover version, which has now become paramount to the campaign. Each cover version since has held a spot in the Top 40 in the charts.
This was also the 1st year Craig Inglis took a more visibly active role in the brand’s advertising. He is now John Lewis’ Marketing Director!
Anyone remember this instalment?
2009 (Sweet Child O’ Mine)
2009 saw Adam+Eve win the majority of control of the John Lewis Brand and they revamped the Christmas ads to create a whole new feel and meaning.
The advert had children opening presents meant for adults, occupied by a cover of the famous Guns N’ Roses track ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’. It was the 1stblockbuster style ad, costing in excess of £5 million! The emphasis of the campaign was the narrative and this would lead John Lewis to evolve their ads further down the line.
Christmas sales increased by 12.7% from the previous year. This was the start of the Christmas campaigns we openly love.
Another piece of nostalgia for you:
2010 (A Tribute To Givers)
This time the gift givers were the focal point of the ad campaign. This was the year that John Lewis really started to captivate the public and pull on the old heart strings. The cover of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ captures the emotion of the ad and leaves excited for all the Christmas memories to come.
The scene where the boy delivers his dog a stocking in the cold snowy conditions is heart melting. 5 years down the line and we still have a place in our hearts for that dog:
2011 (The Long Wait)
2011, the year John Lewis went bigger and better than ever. The start of the Christmas revolution if you will.
A beautifully shot 90 second ad captured the public’s Christmas cheer. The mix of gloomy music, a clear intriguing narrative and on a scale grander than ever before, lead to massive success for the brand.
The ad’s popularity was reflected in the companies’ sales, going up by 9.3% in the festive season. The long wait is over, relive the 1st blockbuster John Lewis Christmas ad:
2012 (Snowpeople In Love)
Love, it’s what Christmas is all about. Emotion, that’s what John Lewis’ Christmas capture and this year was no different. Harnessing the feeling of love and making someone happy this Christmas.
The start of John Lewis’ annual emotional roller-coaster saw us explore a snowman searching far and wide to bring his beloved snowwomen a hat, scarf and gloves. Again the ad led to a sales increase over the Christmas period and would expect no less by now!
The ad leaves you in a giving mood and had the public deem the John Lewis Christmas ads as an integral part of the start and meaning of Christmas. Take a look and spread a little love this Christmas:
2013 (The Bear & The Hare)
2013, the year John Lewis well and truly took control of the Christmas market. What an ad, I’m sure I don’t even need to remind you of what it entails!
Through the use of social media, the advert gained exposure and love like never before. With the ad being teased before its full reveal, the expectation and anticipation was greater than ever before and I don’t think anyone could not enjoy this ad!
It quickly became the companies’ most popular ad campaign. However, the deaf community couldn’t quite capture the full experience and gave John Lewis a chilly verdict on the matter.
Action On Hearing Lose contacted John Lewis via Twitter and got just the answer we were all looking for! Having realised the need to include deaf people, John Lewis acted quickly and within a week the ad re-aired with subtitles. A positive push from for the deaf community, well done guys!
Relive the emotion of this heart wrenching ad, it’s a tear jerker:
2014 (Monty The Penguin)
Once again John Lewis created a Christmas advert that would have the tears streaming down your face.
Monty the penguin has the love and companionship of his friend Sam but everywhere he goes he sees couples in love. He doesn’t have another his or her half. The emotional narrative really captured the heart of the nation. Becoming, by far, John Lewis’ most successful campaign at over 24.8 million views to date on YouTube! And a national treasure.
It’s time to get the tissues again:
It’s that time you’ve all been waiting for. Let’s not prolong the wait anymore:
So we have another deep and meaningful ad to celebrate. It’s another tearjerker, no doubts about that! With just over 12.7 million views in a week, it is once again set to rule the Christmas period and become John Lewis’ most successful campaign to date. Reiterated by the hashtag, encouraging people to share and discuss it via social media.
But what does this year’s ad actually mean?
The advert was actually made in partnership with charity ‘Age UK’ (The country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life) with the mission of raising awareness for the older people who may go a month, and not just at Christmas, without speaking to a neighbour, friend or even a family member.
The emotional attachment and feelings of nostalgia these ads bring, help take us out of our everyday lives and take us back to simpler times.
How many of us wish we could all go back to being kids and to never grow up?
How many of us wish Christmas wasn’t such a panic anymore?
How much of us wish we could see our families more?
How many of us wish we could harness that Christmas spirit all year round?
The John Lewis Christmas campaigns make us feel human again, not a consumer, not a worker. All our worries are temporarily lifted when the ad airs, we feel compassion for others (probably more so than we do the rest of the year). They capture exactly what it means to be Christmas.
What It’s Like For Older Deaf People
The whole family is over, the cheer is ringing in, the turkey is roasting away and the bubbly is flowing. Everyone’s enjoying themselves and yet you still feel alone.
It’s hard enough being older and not seeing your family much but add on the fact you’re deaf and Christmas could feel like a dreaded day.
So here’s a brief list of what older deaf people find challenging at Christmas and how to keep them included:
§ Deck The Hal
§ O Christmas Tree
§ O Holy Night
§ Silent Night
Are just a small selection of the Christmas Carols we know and love (come on you know you love them really!). But what if you’re an older deaf person?
Then you may no longer be able to enjoy them in the same way as you once did. Older deaf people may not know Sign Language so even a signing of the carols may not be able to revive past Christmas glories.
Whether you like what’s on or not, you can’t say they don’t make the effort when it comes to Christmas TV. So how do you enjoy these programmes if you’re an older deaf person?
Subtitles, subtitles, subtitles. As we mentioned earlier, John Lewis now includes subtitles on their Christmas ads and the rest of the festive period can also be enjoyed in the same way. When the whole family are sat around the TV it can be easy to feel out-of-place, if you’re deaf, so whack on those subtitles and you’ll have done a simply gesture and have Christmas accessible for the whole family.
There’s nothing more excitable than a kid at Christmas right? Well that’s great, we love seeing happy children. But in that constant flow of excitement it can be hard for older and hard of hearing relatives to take in everything the child is saying.
Asking your children to make a conscious effort to maintain eye contact can greatly increase a deaf person’s opportunity to interact. Even if a child remembers just a handful of times throughout the day, it would certainly make a difference.
Give your older deaf relatives a responsibility, no matter how small. There’s nothing like feeling part of something and the chaos of Christmas Day is no different. So whether it’s just getting drinks or setting the table.
Christmas is a time where a family ‘mucks in’ so let’s not forget that!
Spreading That Christmas Cheer
Since it’s coming up to Christmas, we don’t want anyone feeling sad! So try and make a conscious effort to include anyone you feel may be lonely this, and every other, Christmas!
– Your grandparents aren’t awkward; they’re just stubborn and won’t put their hearing aids in.
– Your neighbour isn’t antisocial; they just don’t know how to interact due to their lack of hearing.
– Your friend isn’t a scrooge; they just can’t fully enjoy Christmas Carols.
Making everything as accessible as possible and being as deaf aware, as possible will really make this Christmas one to remember! Invite someone round this Christmas, or visit them. Whether you’re deaf or not, no-one should be alone at any point in the year but especially not at Christmas.