The highly-anticipated John Lewis Christmas advertisement has been released, marking a departure from the heartfelt offerings of the last few years.
Considered as a marker for the start of the Christmas season in UK retail, John Lewis’ latest festive advert features a range of CGI animals bouncing on a trampoline recently assembled last minute by a father for his daughter’s Christmas surprise.
As a badger, hedgehog, fox and squirrel test the trampoline overnight, they are watched by an angry boxer dog, Buster, who is locked in doors.
On Christmas morning Buster gets his chance test out his present.
Toys are now available to buy of both Buster the boxer and each wild animal featured in the advert, and proceeds from the soft toys will go to this year’s chosen charity the Wildlife Trust.
“2016 has certainly been quite a year, so we hope our advert will make people smile,” John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis said.
“It really embraces a sense of fun and magic, reminding everyone what it feels like to give the perfect gift at Christmas.
“Each year we work with a charity which fits our ad, and 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 retailer has not disclosed how much was spent on the advert, saying only that it was close to previous years which totaled around £7 million, including production and television slots.
It will be screened at 9.15 pm tonight on ITV1 but will be available to watch online from 8am this morning.
Earlier this week, a media studies student’s work was mistaken for the John Lewis advert, which subsequently went viral.
Despite going live in June and reportedly being “rushed”, the piece gained almost one million views and had viewers fooled.
Nick Jablonka studied John Lewis Christmas adverts for his A-Levels and sought to replicate one for coursework.
A John Lewis spokesman said: “Nick is clearly very talented, we’d love to invite him to spend some time with us.”