John Lewis launches Christmas campaign with TV ad, exclusive AR content and Snapchat lenses

John Lewis has launched its 2021 Christmas ad campaign. Created in partnership with adam&eveDDB, the campaign, entitled ‘Unexpected Guest’, tells the story of a young boy called Nathan and a space traveller called Skye, whose spaceship lands in the woods beside Nathan’s home. Nathan befriends Skye, and their friendship develops as he introduces her to many of his family’s festive traditions and brings them to life for her in the woods. They decorate the tree with fairy lights, celebrate the tradition of eating and hosting together, as he encourages her to try her first mince pie, and he also introduces her to the joy of thoughtful gifting by giving her his Christmas jumper.

The story plays out to the soundtrack of Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder’s ‘Together in Electric Dreams’, performed by Lola Young, a 20 year old singer-songwriter from South London.

The ad was available exclusively to 3.7m ‘My John Lewis’ loyalty scheme members from 6.30 this morning, before it launched on the John Lewis website and social media channels at 8am. It’s first airing on UK TV will be at 8.15 this evening, during The Pride of Britain Awards. 

‘My John Lewis members will also have exclusive access to a virtual experience on the John Lewis app and website. They will be able to take on the character of Nathan and explore the world of the ad through his eyes, discovering augmented reality characters and downloadable prizes for children, including printable toys and activities. There will also be hidden characters from previous John Lewis Christmas campaigns waiting to be found, as well as behind the scenes footage not available anywhere else.

The ad will also be brought to life in Christmas Emporiums in 10 John Lewis stores. Here, customers will be able to get up close to Skye’s spaceship and create and share an interactive GIF on social media. There are also two Snapchat lenses launching today. The first is a selfie lens, which lets the user become a space traveller. The second is an outward-facing lens, which lets the user play with Skye’s spaceship in their own world. 

“There is nothing more magical than discovering the joy of Christmas for the first time and enjoying your favourite festive moments with loved ones,” said John Lewis Director of Customer, Claire Pointon. “After the last 18 months, we wanted our advert to really celebrate this as we look forward to a brighter future. We know our customers are excited for this festive season more than ever, as they reconnect with family and friends. Through the story of Skye and Nathan we celebrate friendship and are reminded of the joy of experiencing Christmas for the first time.”