James has got beef (or should that be tofu?) with John Lewis. He thinks it’s time they stopped playing it safe & changed tack… We’ve seen it all before!

I imagine that back in 2011 it took the agency that makes John Lewis’s Christmas ads months to come up with a new and original idea that would get everyone talking. To be fair to Adam & Eve it worked well and The Long Wait made them the official kings of the heartfelt Christmas ad. The little boy that can’t wait any longer, tries using magic to turn the clocks forwards so that he could have that buzz of Christmas morning and see what presents he’d got.

But, wait a second, he’s not opening his own presents at all. Screenshot 2015-12-01 at 14.16.17 The twist: his excitement was not selfish, he simply couldn’t wait to give his parents their gifts from him! All set to the slow rendition of The Smiths (still amazed they pulled that one off) ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ by the aptly named Slow Moving Millie. They created a winning formula – to tug at the heartstrings with a sweet story, a happy twist at the end and a slow cover of an old classic.

And they’ve recreated it every year since! The next year was The Journey (our office favourite as it happens!); the year after that they gave us The Bear & The Hare; the year after that it was Monty the Penguin and this year we have The Man in the Moon (although they appear to have cut the happy ending for 2015. Is it just me, or does anyone else think this advert is painfully depressing?! The poor old lad is still stuck on the moon alone, and to make it more frustrating – he can see everyone else enjoying Christmas!) Aside from that, John Lewis are getting a little too comfortable and predictable now. The ideas that probably took months to create originally, I can now imagine now come together in a matter of weeks, it’s like working off a blueprint.

Screenshot 2015-12-01 at 14.17.41

The old saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’. The thing is, whilst people may still anticipate the arrival of the John Lewis advert at this time of year, they who are never knowingly undersold are getting a good run for their money from other retail giants. Sainsbury’s in particular stepped it up last year with their World War II inspired weepy and I imagine it gave the folks at JL a bit of a scare in the race for the Christmas crown. That same company have upped it again this year with the tale of Mog – The Cat That Nearly Ruined Christmas. A great advert that has been cleverly created, has a cute and clumsy but still very lovable main character and the same near miss; with a happy ending outcome that we all need see play out. It apparently took 18 months to make, but in its first 12 hours of release it was shared more times that Lewis’ was in the first 24. It might just convince everyone else to mix it up a bit next year rather than use the same old, stick with what we know, way of thinking!

Screenshot 2015-12-01 at 14.26.16P.S. It’s not officially Christmas until you’ve seen the Coca Cola advert on the telly – they literally wheel out the same one every year and we still love it just as much! Enjoy watching, in case you need getting in the mood. Holidays are well and truly coming! 😉