In light of the current situation, companies have skipped the usual overly festive theme for their Christmas adverts this year.
One brand that followed suit is the British department store chain John Lewis. The company just released its highly anticipated 2020 Christmas TV commercial, which centralizes on the message of kindness.
The two-minute ad also features Waitrose, the company’s supermarket arm. The theme is inspired by the kindness shown by the British people since the pandemic began. Its goal is to encourage viewers to “give a little love” to others, according to a press release from the company.
“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,” Pippa Wicks, executive director of John Lewis, said.
The commercial begins with a girl who helps a boy get his football down from a tree using her umbrella. It ends with an NHS worker helping the same girl fix her broken glasses with a heart sticker as they traveled together on a bus.
John Lewis commissioned singer-songwriter Celeste to pen an original song for the ad titled “A Little Love.”
The commercial featured CGI, animation, and claymation produced by eight different artists who were deliberately chosen by the company as a way of providing them with work amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has left many people from their community jobless.
As part of the campaign, John Lewis and Waitrose are working with Home-Start and FareShare to raise £5 million (around $6.5 million) over Christmas to help over 100,000 struggling families. Both charities will use donations collected to provide food and support to the needy.
John Lewis is also selling “Give A Little Love” merchandise such as t-shirts, candle tins, pin badges, and mugs. All profits will go to helping families in need.
All donations received will be matched by John Lewis and Waitrose up to £2 million (around $2.6 million) and will be equally divided between FareShare and Home-Start.
This is in spite of the company suffering huge losses due to the pandemic. In September, the company announced that it lost £635 million ($835 million) over the first half of 2020.
“The outlook for the second half is clearly uncertain given the broader macroeconomy,” according to the company’s results statement. “Christmas trade is also particularly important to profits in John Lewis.”
In recent months, it has had to lay off thousands of its workers, close eight of its department stores, and shut down at least seven Waitrose supermarkets. The group was also compelled to cancel its 2021 annual staff bonus.
But no matter how horrible this year has been, the company believes releasing a Christmas advert can still make “much of a difference.”
“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,” said Wicks.
Here’s what a few Twitter users have to say about the Christmas ad.
“Well the John Lewis Advert is out and it’s raising money for charity, I quite like it very fitting for this year ‘Give a little love’: John Lewis’ new Christmas advert #johnlewischristmasadvert,” said @PCIanAshton.
“Sentimental, heartwarming, for a good cause. The new #johnlewischristmasadvert is here and it ticks all my boxes and I love it,” said @susikabusi.
However, some viewers weren’t too happy about the commercial, saying that it was “underwhelming.”
Other viewers were quick to defend the ad and reiterated that it was created by eight different artists, which means it gave employment to several people in the creative industry, many of whom are struggling to find work these days.
Click on the video below to watch “Give A Little Love” by John Lewis and Waitrose. If you want to see last year’s John Lewis commercial, go HERE. What do you think of the ad? Share your thoughts in the comments!