Magic glasses inform a gift list in Boots' Christmas ad

Actor Lydia West stars in uplifting spot from VMLY&R

Published On
Nov 04, 2022

Editor's Pick

Boots is the latest U.K. retailer to reveal its holiday campaign for 2022, and it's an uplifting spot that revolves around a magical pair of glasses. 

The spot by VMLY&R centers on Holly, played by Lydia West, an up-and-coming BAFTA nominated British star after her appearances in "It's a Sin" and "Years and Years." On a bus ride, she finds a pair of magical glasses and finds that when she dons them, everything turns festive. Not only that but she can see the "joy" hidden inside the people around her and then informs her gift giving.

For example, wearing the specs she can see that her work colleague enjoys relaxing in bubble baths. Meanwhile, her cousin secretly dreams of being a drag queen, her friend wants a bit of glamour and her Dad finds joy in his beloved pet dog. She can then find them all the appropriate presents from Boots; scented bath products for the colleague, a hairdryer for her cousin, a cushion with the dog's face on it for her dad. And finally, we find out who owns the mysterious glasses: the clue is in the initials, "SC." The spot, directed by Si&Ad through Academy Films, is set to the track of “You Make My Dreams (Come True)” by Hall & Oates.

The ad, titlted "Joy for All," certainly has the feelgood factor, boosted by West's luminous performance. CMO Pete Markey revealed at its launch event that it worked with researchers at System1 throughout its development to ensure that it got the highest possible score with viewers in terms of emotional resonance and recall. 

The wider campaign includes some innovative tech elements too; Boots will be the first brand in the UK to use TikTok Story Selection format, allowing users to choose which version of the spot they see based on who they are shopping for. It will also be working with Meta to produce a bespoke AR filter to help people find the perfect gift for loved ones in a "fun and engaging way."

As for the theme, Boots wanted to create something "joyful" while still mindful of the fact that people are facing a cost of living crisis.

"Christmas is the hardest brief of the year – it’s a time people treasure and getting the tone right is essential. said Laurent Simon, chief creative officer, VMLY&R London, in a statement. "This year, it’s been an even greater challenge as customers face worries about how they are going to pay for it. And whilst the tightening of belts and purse strings is a reality, we also know people still want to make Christmas magical and meaningful. Enter our extraordinary glasses - showing thoughtfulness starts with seeing someone, truly seeing them, and then showing how Boots can help create unique moments of joy for them.”


Nov 04, 2022
Client :
Agency :
Peter Markey
Marketing Director :
Helen Jeremiah
Product Owner :
Emma Locker
Marketing Manager :
Rebecca Vittles
Creative and Media Specialist :
Cara McNaughton
Omni-media Director :
Ollie Shayer
Head of Media Strategy & Planning :
Amy Caven
Agency :
The Pharm
Chief Creative Officer :
Laurent Simon
Executive Creative Director :
Sara Rose
Creative Director :
Lee Hanson
Creative Director :
Mark Prime
Executive Producer :
Maja McIntosh
Producer :
Eleanor Hardcastle
Client Partner :
Sam Phillips-Grey
Business Director :
Sian Richards
Account Director :
Zoe Venning
Program Director :
Sophie Beaumont
Strategy Director :
Mark Linford
Strategy Director :
Anastasia Besson
Managing Partner Media :
Gareth Allen
Business Director Media :
Arabella Blaikie
Senior Associate Director :
Rachael Alston
Production :
Director :
Exec Producer :
Simon Cooper
Producer :
Georgina Smith
Post Production :
Final Cut
Editor :
Joe Guest
Producer :
Nikki Porter
Edit Assistant :
Leah Burton
VFX & Grade :
Electric Theatre Collective
Producer :
Alasdair Patrick
VFX Supervisor :
Giles Cheetham
2D Lead :
Scott Ryan
Colorist :
Jason Wallis
Hero Casting :
Talent Republic

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