John Lewis Christmas Ad 2022: Another tear-jerker shines spotlight on children in care - how to watch

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 The 90-second ad tells the story of a middle-aged man learning to skateboard - it’s not until the end that we find out why

John Lewis has pulled another tear-jerker out of the bag this year as the retailer’s Christmas advert lands on TV screens to raise awareness of children in care. The 90-second ad tells the story of a middle-aged man learning to skateboard before welcoming a young teenager into his family home.

‘The Beginner’ shows the man struggling to master skateboarding in the build-up to Christmas, set to a cover of Blink 182’s All the Small Things by US musician Mike Geier. Viewers are left questioning the motive behind his determination until the final scene which shows a social worker arriving at his door with Ellie, who has arrived at her new foster home carrying her skateboard.

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The ad was created with agency adam&eveDDB, with input from partner charities Who Cares? Scotland and Action for Children. It is almost entirely devoid of product placement except for two brief glimpses of the retailer’s Lewis Bear toy.

John Lewis said it understood not all foster carers had the benefit of knowing who they would be looking after in advance and that its broader campaign also featured “authentic voices of carers’ ‘ and “young people with different experiences of a complex care system”. The retailer declined to reveal a budget for the advert.

Director of customer care at John Lewis, Claire Pointon, said: “We are fortunate to have a truly unique platform in our Christmas ad, which sparks a national conversation. At John Lewis we care deeply about families and recognise that they come in many different forms. For our biggest moment of the year, we decided to focus on one kind of family that is often overlooked.

“We are also very aware that not all care experience outcomes are as positive as Ellie’s. The home Ellie enters is filled with kindness and the foster father’s actions demonstrate that, ultimately, it’s what you do that matters most.”

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Customers can buy products including the £30 bear, £19 Lewis Bear pyjamas, a £5 Lewis Bear tote bag and a Rampage Skateboard for £34.99, with 25 per cent of the sales going to the two affiliated charities. A Giving Tree in stores will invite customers to donate to the charities by taking a tag with a value of between £5 and £50 and scanning it with their shop.

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Alongside its longer-term work providing apprenticeship opportunities within the John Lewis Partnership for people leaving care, the retailer said it would make donations of Christmas decorations, food and gifts. Children in care and their caregivers will be invited to Santa’s Grotto experiences in John Lewis stores and the retailer will also supply communal spaces of selected residential facilities run by Action for Children with electronics, furnishings and decorations.

Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said: “We are delighted to be working with the John Lewis Partnership on its iconic Christmas advert and applaud the company for its work and long-term commitment to shining a light on the issues facing some of the most vulnerable children in the country. We believe this partnership will enable us to support and empower more children and young people as they make the transition from care into the adult world.”

The advert will air across all major TV channels from today (Thursday, November 10). My John Lewis customers can also watch the advert via the app.

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