John Lewis Unlocks Holiday Cheer with Buster The Boxer

John Lewis has rolled out a Christmas campaign titled Buster The Boxer, which entails partnerships with Sky and The Wildlife Trusts.

John Lewis has launched its 2016 Christmas advertising push, Buster The Boxer, both online and across its social media channels as well as on Sky in an exclusive partnership. The first terrestrial television airing commences at 9:15 pm today on ITV; the advert features the hashtag #BusterTheBoxer.

Set to a cover version of the song, One Day I’ll Fly Away, recorded by the British band, Vaults, the two-minute commercial depicts the tale of Buster and his family at Christmas. The spot captures the story of a little girl named Bridget whose parents buy her a trampoline to celebrate her love of jumping.

The present is then hidden by her mum and dad in the garden to surprise her with on Christmas Day. However, after dark that day, in a world observed only by Buster, a cast of wild animals made up of two foxes, a badger, squirrel, and hedgehog emerges. They discover the trampoline and have fun jumping.

On Christmas morning, Bridget runs out into the garden to discover her gift. Buster bounds past her and starts bouncing on the trampoline, a sight she beholds with wide-eyed wonder. As the story brings to life some of Britain’s most-loved wildlife, the advertiser has chosen The Wildlife Trusts as its campaign charity partner this year.

“2016 has certainly been quite a year, so we hope our advert will make people smile. It really embraces a sense of fun and magic, reminding everyone what it feels to give the perfect gift at Christmas,” said Craig Inglis, Customer Director at John Lewis.

“Each year, we work with a charity which fits our ad. We hope this year’s campaign will encourage more children to discover a love of British wildlife and encourage support of The Wildlife Trusts.”

The brand will make a donation to The Wildlife Trusts from the sale of soft toys of the characters which feature in the advert.  The brand has also worked with the charity on a number of educational tools, which will be available online, to encourage more children to develop an interest in British wildlife.

Additionally, the retailer’s flagship shop on Oxford Street will offer a virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift that brings to life the magical world of Buster and his friends. A 360 film experience will be available using Google Cardboard, while also accessible via the company’s main website and YouTube.

In a first for the brand, it will partner with Snapchat to create a bespoke lens that will transform users into Buster the Dog, which is available until midnight tonight. Meanwhile, throughout December, customers visiting any of the group’s 48 shops will be able to apply a Snapchat filter to their pictures taken while in-store.

In a unique partnership with Sky, in addition to the advert, a ‘making of the ad’ film and bespoke content about British Wildlife, presented by Wildlife TV presenter, Patrick Aryee, will be exclusively available to the television network’s 12 million customers via the On Demand homepage and Sky Go.

Until 13 November, customers will be able to use Twitter stickers to personalise photos. The push was created by adam&eveDDB, with media planning and buying executed by Manning Gottlieb OMD. The creative was directed by Dougal Wilson, who also directed three previous John Lewis Christmas adverts.

On a side note, A-level student, Nick Jablonka’s fake Christmas advert, The Snowglobe, which was created as part of his media coursework, has gone viral with more than a million views since its YouTube debut in June 2016. Widely mistaken as a John Lewis commercial, the close to 90-second spot is about a snowman in love.

The resulting popularity of the video, which he claims was unexpected, has earned the student an invitation to go behind-the-scenes to observe how the retailer makes its television advertisements. Meanwhile, a few Jablonka fans have proposed that the youngster be given a job creating ads for the brand.