John Lewis will take a whole advert break in this Saturday’s The X Factor to unveil its Christmas advert, in an unprecedented deal that had to be signed off by Simon Cowell himself.
The advert has been created using hand-drawn animation and cost £1m to produce. It tells the story of the bear and the hare who are sad about being separated for Christmas.
Launching on social media today before reaching the 9m viewers of X Factor tomorrow night, the advert is set to a cover of Keane’s 2004 hit ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ sung by Lily Allen and was designed by Aaron Blaise, a US-based animator who used to work for Disney and whose credits include The Lion King. It was created by advertising agency Adam&Eve/DDB.
Featuring the strapline ‘Give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget’, the story evokes the excitement of a first Christmas and the importance of friendship and thoughtfulness.
As well as the £1m production costs, John Lewis is spending £5m on securing air time, including The X Factor launch and a further £1m on other marketing including the creation of a winter forest on the South Bank in central London.
The department store chain will also be selling bear and hare cuddly toys over the festive period, with managing director Andy Street noting that John Lewis had not made the most of “merchandising opportunities” in previous years.