It’s November; we no longer have to whisper it quietly, and the bar humbugs can no longer 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 the annual John Lewis Christmas Ad is one tradition that has captured the whole country’s heart. It is now the start of the festive period, and once the ad airs, you know it’s socially acceptable to bring in that festive cheer.
Before their latest Christmas ad aired, people eagerly awaited 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’s Christmas ads:
2007 (Shadow Christmas)
The start of John Lewis’ Christmas control.
In 2007, John Lewis decided 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 they conquered the Christmas market in that time!
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 has held a spot in the Top 40 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!
Does anyone remember this instalment?https://youtu.be/TmQ74XO_Fx0 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 campaign’s emphasis was the narrative, which 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 heartstrings. The cover of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ captures the emotion of the ad and leaves excitement 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 a scale grander than ever before led 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. The emotion that’s what John Lewis’ Christmas captured, 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 snowwoman a hat, scarf and gloves. Again, the ad led to a sales increase over Christmas, and I would expect no less by now!
The ad leaves you in a giving mood and has 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:https://youtu.be/KOE7-pJIP0k
2013 (The Bear & The Hare)
2013 was 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 were greater than ever before, and I don’t think anyone could not enjoy this ad!
It quickly became the company’s 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 Loss 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 was re-aired with subtitles. A positive push from the deaf community; well done, guys!
Relive the emotion of this heart-wrenching ad; it’s a tear-jerker:https://youtu.be/NW2EmATcb6o
2014 (Monty The Penguin)
Once again, John Lewis created a Christmas advert that would have 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 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:https://youtu.be/0DPDIkuU_cY 2015 (#ManOntheMoon)
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 doubt about that! With just over 12.7 million views in a week, it is again set to rule the Christmas period and become John Lewis’ most successful Christmas advert. 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 the 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 return to being kids and 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 as consumers or workers. All our worries are temporarily lifted when the ad airs, and 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 an 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 adverts, and the rest of the festive period can also be enjoyed in the same way. When the whole family are sitting 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 made a simple 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 says.
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 Christmas Day’s chaos is no different so, whether it’s just getting drinks or setting the table.
Christmas is a time when a family ‘mucks in’, so let’s not forget that! Spreading That Christmas Cheer
Since it’s coming to Christmas, we don’t want anyone to feel 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.