A dragon called Edgar almost derails the festivities in his fire-breathing excitement for Christmas, in the first ever joint Christmas campaign by John Lewis and Waitrose.
The ad follows a little girl called Eva and her best friend, an “excitable” dragon called Edgar, as they attempt to join in with seasonal activities. But in his enthusiasm for the holiday, Edgar struggles to control his instinct to breathe fire.
Ice-skating is brought to a standstill when Edgar accidentally melts the ice-rink. A carefully built snowman is reduced to a puddle. And the annual dressing of the village Christmas tree ends in disaster.
Worried he will ruin the Christmas festivities even further, Edgar shuts himself away. But Ava dreams up the ideal way to show Edgar how much she cares about him. She presents him with the perfect gift – a delicious Christmas pudding – that ensures he plays a unique role in the spectacular village feast, “lighting up Christmas in his own special way.”
The ad will first air on television during ITV’s The X Factor: Celebrity on Saturday 16 November. It promotes food charity FareShare, with “feasts” to be held in John Lewis shops and community venues ahead of Christmas.
The ad’s creators said they were struggling to come up with the “perfect ending” until the idea of involving Waitrose led to the Christmas pudding finale.
Martin George, partner and customer director at Waitrose, said: “The magic of friendship and making our loved ones feel special, are some of the most wonderful things about this time of year.
“The Christmas pudding in the final scene is not just the showpiece of a spectacular feast that brings all the villagers together, it’s a reminder that a thoughtful gesture – whether it’s a delicious meal or a special gift – can mean so much.”
The advert is set to a cover of REO Speedwagon’s hit song Can’t Fight This Feeling, by Dan Smith from the band Bastille. It was filmed over two weeks in Budapest, with an extras cast of almost 200 people.
The retailers declined to put a price on the ad, but previous John Lewis Christmas campaigns have involved budgets of around £1m on putting each ad together and another £6m on placement.
Craig Inglis, partner and customer director at John Lewis, said: "I'm delighted our two brands have come together for this year's Christmas campaign. It started from a spark of an idea – a little dragon's excitement about Christmas – and became the story of how someone goes the extra mile for their best friend to give just the right gift.
“It's a funny, heart-warming story that will resonate with our customers as they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones this Christmas.”
— John Lewis & Partners (@jlandpartners) November 11, 2019