A guaranteed marker for when the countdown to Christmas really starts, the John Lewis Christmas advert has just been released and it's taken a new turn this year, focusing on simple acts of kindness, rather than buying gifts.
2020 has been a hell of a year and rather than ignoring the obvious, the team at John Lewis abandoned the popular formula of the tried-and-tested campaigns like 2019's Edgar the dinosaur and 2016's Buster the boxer, in favor for a part-animated, part live-action advert that still features animals, snowmen and all the festive tropes you would expect, but is anchored in a theme of goodwill and charity.
Called 'Give a Little Love' and soundtracked by Brit award winning soul singer Celeste, the two-minute advert is made up of nine short acts of kindness linked together with a heart motif as the campaign's emblem.
Stories range from a little girl rescuing a football from a tree for her friend with her heart-shaped umbrella to a row of hip-hop pigeons accepting their hedgehog fan into their group by giving him a baseball cap adorned with a heart.
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Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis, says of the advert: 'We recently set out our ambition for our business to be a force for good - so we decided that this year was the year to break the mould and do something different.'
'We were humbled by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic. We want this campaign to be uplifting and to inspire everyone to give some kindness in their own way this Christmas, especially to those who need it most.'
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Running alongside the campaign, John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners have pledged to raise £4m for two charities: FareShare, which helps those facing food poverty, and Home-Start, a charity that works with parents who need support.
To help raise this money, both John Lewis and Waitrose will be selling a selection of heart-themed products to raise money for the charities, from t-shirts and candles to the iconic umbrella at the start of the advert. All profits from these items will be split between FareShare and Home-Start.
As Pippa says: 'The pandemic has proved that it’s our small acts of love and kindness, particularly in challenging times, that captures what it is to be human; and when one small act of kindness multiplies, it can have a lasting impact.'
Scroll down to see some of the lovely items on offer.
1. The 'Give a Little Love' mug
Give a Little Love Mug, £7, John Lewis & Partners
Made from bone china, this classic mug is both microwave and dishwasher safe.
2. The 'Give a Little Love' umbrella
Give a Little Love Heart Shape Umbrella in Red, £25, John Lewis & Partners
Keep dry from the rain this winter, while giving to charity thanks to this striking heart-shaped umbrella.
3. The 'Give a Little Love' candle
Give a Little Love candle tin, £8, John Lewis &Partners
Scented with mandarin, bergamot, white jasmine, magnolia, gardenia and ylang-ylang, this compact candle has a burn time of 25 hours and would make a lovely stocking filler this Christmas.
4. The 'Give a Little Love' tote bag
Give a Little Love Cotton Tote Bag, £6, John Lewis & Partners
Spread the message by carrying this tote bag with you.
We've got our eye on all four pieces – and particularly the umbrella. Though it's currently out of stock online, we're told that it will return to stock this afternoon, so remember to come back later and add it to your shopping bag.