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John Lewis Christmas advert: Venus flytrap takes starring role in much-awaited campaign | Ents & Arts News

John Lewis has released its much-awaited Christmas advert – with a Venus flytrap in a starring role. 

The advert – called Snapper, The Perfect Tree – follows a young boy as he lovingly nurtures a seed bought at a local market, thinking he is growing a Christmas tree.

But the outcome is more Little Shop Of Horrors than evergreen fir.

The fast-growing plant is soon snapping at the dog and gobbling decorations – until his antics go too far and he is dragged out into the cold.

A traditional tree goes up in Snapper’s place as he watches through the window from the frosty garden.

Of course Snapper couldn’t stay cast out forever – and to the rousing soundtrack performed by opera star Andrea Bocelli, the family moves the celebrations outside, ending with the strapline “Let your traditions grow”.

The reaction to the advert was mixed, with a chorus of people on X, formerly Twitter, saying a Venus flytrap wasn’t “very Christmassy”.

“Nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ like an alien man eating plant,” one viewer said.

But others said the uplifting message hit the right note. “It’s a bit of festive cheer at a time when things are a bit low for people,” one X user said.

Pic: John Lewis
Pic: John Lewis

John Lewis customer director Charlotte Lock said: “We are a nation that loves the traditions of Christmas – from classic traditions like pantos and putting up the tree to evolving new ones like crafting our own presents and Zoom get-togethers.

“Many of us have our own unique festive traditions and that makes them even more special. The film celebrates themes of family and evolving traditions, and shows that a ‘perfect’ Christmas is finding joy together with loved ones, whatever your traditions.”

M&S was one of the first supermarkets to reveal its ad campaign, following a similar theme of ditching unwanted traditions.

However it was forced into an apology after an outtake from the video was criticised for showing burning paper hats resembling the Palestinian flag.

Asda brought in Michael Bublé – the man whose voice is synonymous with Christmas – for an ad directed by Taika Waititi.

Sainsbury’s stayed away from high concept and instead focused on its product as a young girl asks over the tannoy what Santa has for Christmas dinner.

And Lidl tied the ad into the launch of its Toy Bank, donating gifts to children, with a cute tale of a raccoon returning a lost toy.

John Lewis has not revealed its budget for its campaign, which is its first with agency Saatchi and Saatchi after a partnership with adam&eveDDB stretching back to 2009. That one created ads featuring Monty The Penguin, The Bear And The Hare and Excitable Edgar.

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Excitable Edgar stars in the 2019 John Lewis Christmas ad

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The ad’s soundtrack is an original song called Festa – which means celebration – composed for the campaign by Italian electro-pop duo Le Feste Antonacci.

Bocelli said: “I am delighted to take part in this wonderful and unique tradition of Christmas storytelling.”

The soundtrack will be released in longer form as a charity single, with a proportion of the proceeds going to the John Lewis Partnership’s Building Happier Futures charities, which help young people with experience of the care system and families in need.

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