Feed me, Seymour! John Lewis Christmas ad features flytrap trying to be regular spruce
After taking over the John Lewis account back in May, Saatchi & Saatchi swung big on one of the most high-pressure tasks a creative agency can face.
- 9 November 2023
- Liz Gorny
It’s out! Saatchi & Saatchi has released its first Christmas ad with John Lewis, directed by Megaforce and with VFX from Electric Theatre Collective. Following the launch of a ten-second teaser, the full-length spot has exploded across our screens.
This year’s story follows a child who buys a fast-growing Christmas tree kit. But lo and behold! The plant is not a fir, spruce or even a cypress, but a Venus flytrap. The child watches in awe as Snapper takes over the living room, helping decorate and chewing on the furniture, as the rest of the family looks on in apprehension. Snapper is soon confined to the garden (this is the saddest bit, much less of an emotional blow than in previous John Lewis ads, good news for those not looking to cry over their cornflakes). Thankfully, the family comes to their senses on Christmas day. Cue the confetti.
The concept behind the ad is to celebrate the unsung traditions that happen each year around Christmas. “While our customers love classic Christmas traditions, such as decorating the tree and sharing gifts, our research has discovered many families also have new ones from all-day Christmas pyjamas to meeting up outside, a tradition that grew during lockdown,” says a release. “The campaign shows how the unusual and unexpected, over the conventionally ‘perfect’, can lead to a joyful time together for everyone.”
The tone of the ad has come out of left field for John Lewis, particularly considering the formula that we’ve come to know with Adam&EveDDB. The soundtrack is an upbeat rendition of Festa (which means celebration) by the opera singer Andrea Bocelli and emotional weight is balanced with some outlandish comedic moments. Opinion is divided at the It’s Nice That office – some of us are ready for a breath of fresh air, while some of us are clutching onto our John Lewis emotional support ads of old.
Franki Goodwin, chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, says, “Taking on the John Lewis Christmas ad – no pressure, right? It’s been quite the six months. But honestly, having built a fully integrated campaign, and worked with the icons that are Megaforce and Bocelli to make a film that retains what is quintessential about a John Lewis Christmas ad, but evolves it into something perhaps a bit unexpected, wilder and funnier... I really do appreciate that pressure is a privilege – and making this has been a huge one.”
John Lewis appointed Saatchi & Saatchi as its new creative marketing partner in May, shortly after recording a loss for 2022. Before this, the retailer had worked with Adam&EveDDB for over a decade. The agency’s last ad with John Lewis was The Beginner, which told the story of one young person in the care system over Christmas through a middle-aged man’s mission to learn how to skateboard.
GallerySaatchi & Saatchi: Snapper: The Perfect Tree (Copyright © Saatchi & Saatchi, 2023)
Saatchi & Saatchi: Snapper: The Perfect Tree (Copyright © Saatchi & Saatchi, 2023)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.