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Christmas 2016 ads: John Lewis embraces puppy love

The eagerly anticipated Christmas ad from John Lewis this year tells the story of Buster the boxer dog and his family during the festive season.

Source: John Lewis

Set to a cover version of the song One Day I’ll Fly Away, recorded by the British band Vaults, the ad features a little girl called Bridget who loves to jump. Her mum and dad buy her a trampoline for Christmas and hide it in the garden to surprise her with on Christmas Day. However, after dark, a cast of wildlife animals – two foxes, a badger, a squirrel, and a hedgehog – discover the trampoline and have fun jumping.

On Christmas morning, Bridget runs out into the garden to discover her present however Buster bounds past her and starts bouncing on her trampoline.

Buster the Boxer was created by advertising agency Adam & Eve and directed by Dougal Wilson, who has also directed three previous John Lewis Christmas adverts: 2011’s The Long Wait, 2012’s The Journey, and 2014’s Monty’s Christmas.

John Lewis has chosen The Wildlife Trusts to be this year’s Christmas campaign charity partner. The retailer will make a donation to the charity from the sale of soft toys of the characters that feature in the ad. It has also developed online educational tools to encourage more children to develop an interest in British wildlife.

The retailer’s flagship store on Oxford Street will offer a virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift that will bring to life the magical world of Buster and his friends. There will also be a 360° film experience available using Google’s virtual reality device, Cardboard.

In a first for John Lewis, the retailer will be partnering with Snapchat to create a bespoke filter for the app, which will transform users into Buster the Dog. Plus, throughout December, customers visiting any of John Lewis’s 48 shops can apply a Snapchat filter to any of their pictures taken while in store. Until 13 November, customers will also be able to use bespoke Twitter stickers to personalise their own photos with Buster and his friends.

In partnership with Sky, in addition to the advert, a ‘making of the ad’ film and bespoke content about British wildlife will be exclusively available to Sky’s customers via the On Demand homepage and Sky Go.

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