During Advertising Age's Brand Summit in Los Angeles this week, Adam & Eve/DDB Executive Creative Director Richard Brim kicked off the event's Behind the Work series, which looked into some of the most talked-about campaigns. One of the minds behind U.K. retailer John Lewis' beloved holiday hit "Monty the Penguin," Mr. Brim talked about the pressure and intensity that goes into creating England's most anticipated ad of the year. (One U.K. publication, the Telegraph, has even created a clock that ticks down until the John Lewis Christmas campaign's arrival).
In 2011, Adam & Eve and the retailer, along with director Dougal Wilson, created "The Long Wait," a heartwarming story about a boy who impatiently watches the clock, counting down the days, the hours and then the seconds till Christmas morning. But what he was truly waiting for turned out to be a complete surprise.
The ad charmed audiences around the world and effectively turned the holiday season into the Super Bowl of the U.K. Since then, London agency Adam & Eve, now Adam & Eve/DDB, has been topping itself each year with more brilliant campaigns, while other retailers turn out their own ambitious ads in an attempt to "win Christmas" in England.
Here, Mr. Brim, taking time out during what's arguably England's busiest ad season of the year (the Christmas ads have been rolling out furiously this week), spoke to Ad Age about his experience creating the Monty campaign and also gives a tiny tease of what's to come tomorrow at 8 a.m. U.K. time when the new John Lewis ad arrives.
During his presentation at the Brand Summit, Mr. Brim also shared this slide about the forthcoming ad, so apparently, they figured out how to make it.
See the history of John Lewis Christmas ads with Adam & Eve and Adam & Eve/DDB below:
"The Long Wait" from 2011, directed by Dougal Wilson at Blink.
"The Journey" from 2012, directed by Dougal Wilson at Blink
"The Bear and the Hare" from 2013, directed by Elliot Dear at BlinkInk
"Monty's Christmas" from 2014, directed by Dougal Wilson of Blink