John Lewis breaks tradition with 2020 Christmas ad

John Lewis is encouraging the British public to give a little love to others this festive season.

The retailer, alongside sister company Waitrose, is launching its Christmas advertising campaign today, which, under the strapline ‘Give A Little Love’, aims to make a lasting difference to some of those hit hardest during the COVID pandemic this year.

A two-minute advert is designed to inspire the nation to give a little love to those around them; the storyline illustrates how acts of kindness, large and small, can multiply and positively impact the world in which we live as we pass them on to others.

A complimentary 30 second advert will carry a direct call to support two chosen charities.

These will be first broadcast on TV on Saturday (14 November) evening during ‘The Voice’ on ITV. They also went live on social media today (13 November).

Both companies are aiming to raise £4m between them for two charities: FareShare, which helps those facing food poverty, and Home-Start, which works with parents who need support. Store staff will also donate £1m to charities who support families in their local communities to provide food, comfort, emotional support and advice to at least 100,000 families in need.

Since the pandemic started FareShare has had to double the amount of food it distributes to meet the rising demand, and over one third of Home-Start centres have seen an increase in demand for its services.

The John Lewis Partnership opted to use a variety of artists and production teams to create this ad campaign this year, rather than using a single production team, giving employment to many people across the creative industry.

In another step away from its traditional approach, for the first time a new song was commissioned for the advert. Written and recorded by Brit Award-winning British soul singer, Celeste, the song is also called ‘A Little Love’. The artist and her record label will make a 10p donation to the campaign every time the song is downloaded.

A range of ‘Give A Little Love’ merchandise also goes on sale today through John Lewis and Waitrose, with all profits from sales going to the appeal.

Customers are being encouraged to support the campaign in various ways – making a charity donation, buying campaign products with 100 per cent of profit donated to the charities, using their loyalty card to increase the Partnership’s donation, giving a little love to someone they know who needs it and helping in their local community.

Customer donations up to the value of £2m will be match funded by a donation from the John Lewis Partnership. A further fund of over £1m has also been created to ensure all of the retailers’ shops will be actively partnering with FareShare and Home-Start and a range of local family charities in the communities they serve.

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis, said: “We recently set out our ambition for our business to be a force for good – so we decided that this was the year to break the mould and do something different.

“We have a long tradition of helping support the communities which we serve, so as we launch one of the best loved assets, our Christmas ad, it’s fitting to take this one step further by working hand in hand with two incredible charities supporting families in need.”