John Lewis’ Christmas ad goes back to basics with foster dad’s story


John Lewis has swept aside the fake snow, the celebrities and even the cute pets for a back to basics Christmas ad which raises awareness of young people in care.

The department store’s annual campaign, a TV moment that has kickstarted the festive season in the UK for more than a decade, focuses this year on a middle-aged man’s efforts to prepare for the arrival of a new foster daughter – Ellie – by trying to share her passion for skateboarding.

Thought to have cost about £7m including payment for TV and online slots, the ad is in complete contrast to last year’s big-budget production which featured a crash-landing alien girl, following a similar formula to a string of John Lewis ads from the Hare and the Bear in 2013 to Monty the Penguin in 2014 and 2019’s Excitable Edgar the dragon – relying on cute characters that draw millions of viewers online.

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Written by Catherine Turner