It's here: the much-anticipated John Lewis Christmas commercial was revealed today in a fanfare of publicity, and turns out to be the sweet tale of a "man on the moon" and a little girl who wants to send him a gift.
In keeping with the British retailer's established theme -- a cute kid thinking about others at Christmas with an emotional twist -- the girl sees the man living on the moon through a telescope and realizes that he's lonely. She decides to write to him, but can't get the message there, trying arrows and paper airplanes before she finally discovers a solution. The ending is just as heart-melting as you might expect, and this time there's another reason to love the ad. The retailer has teamed up with age concern charity Age U.K. in an effort to help raise awareness of "the million older people who go a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or member of family."
The spot, by Adam & Eve/DDB, is directed by in-demand female director Kim Gehrig of Somesuch (whose work includes This Girl Can), in a change from John Lewis' go-to director Dougal Wilson, who helmed last year's Cannes Grand Prix winner Monty's Christmas. It's set to a haunting cover of Oasis' "Half The World Away" by Norwegian singer, Aurora (which will resonate with Brits as it was previously the theme to much-loved British TV show "The Royle Family.")
The retailer has also created a Man On The Moon App that uses augmented reality to bring the moon to life. By pointing a phone at the Man on the Moon image found on posters, John Lewis shopping bags and other point of sale, or by holding the device up towards the moon itself, users can unlock a 3D interactive moon that releases daily facts and animations in the countdown to Christmas Day's full moon. The app also features a Man-on-the-Moon themed game.
To read more about Adam & Eve/DDB's experiences in creating the John Lewis campaigns, head over to AdAge.com for our feature which includes a video of ECD Richard Brim speaking at AdAge's Brand Summit in L.A.