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John Lewis Christmas Ad - ‘The Beginner’ (2022) :90 (UK)

A middle-aged man who clearly hasn't had a day of skateboarding in his life carefully puts a helmet on and tries to skate. He tries and fails. Day, and night. Time after time. Why he is so stubborn on trying to master the skateboard is unclear, as he doesn't seem to be enjoying it. A slight reveal as the wife says "we can't wait" on the phone, as the man tends to his busted knee with a pack of frozen peas. The man is doing this to impress someone. 

In between mince pies, watching skate videos at the office, and having the neighbors laugh at him at holiday parties the man can be found at the skatepark, again and again, practicing.

 

All is revealed when a social worker and skater girl Ellie ring the doorbell.  He has been doing this to make her feel at home. There are an estimated 100,000 children and young people who will spend this Christmas in care this year, but they do not have to. John Lewis created this ad in partnership with Action for Children and Who Cares? Scotland. 

 

Claire Pointon, director of customer at John Lewis says: “We are fortunate to have a truly unique platform in our Christmas ad, which sparks a national conversation. As a purpose-led brand, making a genuine difference in our communities is important. 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.” 

 

Imran Hussain, director of policy & campaigns at Action for Children says: “At Action for Children we want every child to have a safe and happy childhood. Every year, we work with over 40,000 children and young people in, or with experience of, the care system, and we know the challenges and poor outcomes they may face.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.”

 

Pippa Wicks, executive director at John Lewis says: “Turbulent times worsen social inequalities, and Christmas is a time when this can be most keenly felt. It’s more important than ever for our business to stand up and use our voice to make a difference where we can. Our Christmas campaign is an important step in our long-term plans to become the employer of choice for young people leaving the care system, and to provide lasting change and hope for children like Ellie.” 

 

Louise Hunter, CEO of Who Cares? Scotland says: “We know that Christmas can be difficult for lots of people, and that’s particularly true for our Care Experienced community who may not have a family to spend it with. As the national membership body for Care Experienced people, we know that the Christmas period can bring loneliness, isolation and a sense of being different from others who enjoy a more traditional Christmas Day. We’re delighted that the John Lewis Christmas advert will feature a different kind of family, one which will resonate with the many thousands of people across the UK, with experience of care. At Who Cares? Scotland, our vision is a lifetime of equality, respect and love for all Care Experienced people and we are excited to have the support of the John Lewis Partnership in making that a reality.” 

Ad Agency: adam&eveDDB , London

Production company: Biscuit Filmworks 

Music: "All the Small Things" by Blink 182, performed by Mike Geier. 

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