In Brief

Meet excitable Edgar: John Lewis launches 2019 Christmas ad

The retailer’s latest festive offering features an accident-prone dragon

John Lewis Christmas advert

John Lewis has unveiled its 2019 Christmas advert, complete with the customary slowed-down pop classic and tear-jerker story.

The big reveal of the department store chain’s festive TV ad is one of the media events of the year and the campaign tends to stick to a “safe formula”, says The Guardian.

This year’s offering tells the story of Edgar, a loveable but accident-prone dragon who keeps causing problems for himself, and his chocolate-box Christmas village, by spurting fire.

The advert sees Edgar accidentally burning down a Christmas tree and melting an ice rink and a snowman, along with plenty of hearts.

As is customary, the ad is soundtracked by a pop classic - a cover of REO Speedwagon’s Can’t Fight This Feeling, performed by Dan Smith from the band Bastille.

“It started from a spark of an idea - a little dragon’s excitement about Christmas - and became the story of how someone goes the extra mile for their best friend to give just the right gift,” said John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis.

“It’s a funny, heart-warming story that will resonate with our customers as they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones this Christmas.” 

John Lewis usually spends about £7m on its Christmas campaign, according to the Financial Times. However, this year’s ad has been produced in collaboration with sister chain Waitrose, possibly in order to save money. The retail group announced its first ever half-year loss in September.

Sarah Vizard, a news editor at Marketing Week, told the Guardian: “Most of the money when doing a big campaign goes into [buying space] and they have now got the same agency across two brands so there will definitely be efficiencies of scale. Having one big creative campaign is also going to have helped cost levels.”

The two-and-a-half-minute ad will premiere during ITV’s X Factor: Celebrity on Saturday.

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