John Lewis Christmas adverts are the holiday canon now. Since 2007, the UK department store brand has been making us cry our eyes out after watching their touching, brilliantly done, emotional commercials. In 2023, it follows the classic formula but there’s a twist too.
The plot: a boy finds a box entitled “Best Christmas Tree” while browsing through the flea market with his parents. He plants the seed to find that it’s not the evergreen conifer, but a more exotic Venus trap. The boy names it Snapper and the friendship between the two starts growing.
Snapper likes to fool around and bite everything that is found within its biting range. Also, he grows bigger and bigger with more biting leaves appearing. Naturally, the parents of our protagonist are not happy about the new family member. At some point, the North Carolina native carnivorous plant even threatens to eat the dog. He’s misbehaving.
The tough decision comes, Snapper is transported to the yard. Parents buy a classic Christmas tree instead but the house doesn’t feel the same anymore. The boy is getting sad for Snapper that managed to become his friend. That’s why when the gifting begins on Christmas Eve, our hero takes his present outside to the snow-covered Venus trap.
And here’s the moment of unity that is a staple of all other John Lewis Christmas adverts. Parents come outside to give Snapper their presents too. The dog is also there but it chooses the safe distance. Apparently, the beef is still ongoing between those two.
Why we love it: John Lewis has done it again. However, this time it feels more playful and quite refreshing too. One of the reasons for that is the fact that UK retailer switched to an advertising agency. Now it’s iconic Saatchi and Saatchi that’s responsible.
With a running time of 2 minutes, the John Lewis 2023 Christmas ad has all the ingredients that made previous commercials go directly into the hearts of the viewers. The story is very emotional, the quality is top-notch, and the modus operandi is cinematic.
“Many of us have our own unique festive traditions and that makes them even more special. This film celebrates themes of family and evolving traditions and shows that a ‘perfect’ Christmas is finding joy together with loved ones, whatever your traditions,” Charlotte Lock, customer director at John Lewis told The Drum.
The presence of the Venus trap makes the commercial more memorable and vivid.
Also, it’s hard not to applaud the soundtrack choice. The timeless voice of Andrea Bocelli accompanies the video with the custom-written song called “La vita è una Festa”.