Creativity

The John Lewis Christmas Ad Is Here

Michel Gondry Directs This Year's Spot With Puppetry and a Beatles Cover Track by Elbow

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Nov 10, 2017

Editor's Pick

This year's much-anticipated John Lewis Christmas spot is the story of a huge, friendly monster who hides out under a child's bed and becomes his best friend.

"Moz the Monster" is directed by Michel Gondry, an Oscar winner for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," as well as veteran of commercials for Levi's and Apple. The French director brings his magical, quirky touch to the narrative, created by Adam&Eve/DDB and set to a cover version of The Beatles' "Golden Slumbers," recorded by British band Elbow.

The story concerns Joe, a little boy who first hears the snoring, farting monster under his bed and crossly puts a sign up on his door saying "No Monsters Allowed." However, he comes to be friends with the seven-foot creature, playing with him every night--although when his father looks in through the door, all he can see is Joe alone in his bed. But the nighttime fun takes its toll when he starts falling asleep in class and even during a soccer game. On Christmas morning, he finds a badly-wrapped gift under the tree--could it be from the monster? It's a night light, which has the miraculous effect of making the monster disappear and letting him get some sleep--although he can still get his friend back in a second by switching the nightlight off.

With its focus on an adorable child and his (maybe imaginary) friend, the ad is perhaps most reminiscent of John Lewis's 2014 campaign, Monty's Christmas, which won the Effectiveness Grand Prix at Cannes in 2016 and contributed to 132 million pounds on sales growth for the retailer. John Lewis will be hoping for a similar effect this year in a tough U.K. trading environment impacted by Brexit fears.

Gondry, who directed via Partizan, comments on the ad in a statement: "When I told my ex-girlfriend I was doing the next John Lewis Christmas film she said: You have big shoes to fill, this John Lewis commercial must make people cry, don't forget. Last week I showed it to her and she cried. Phew."

The Mill was responsible for post production on the spot, but Moz the Monster was portrayed by puppeteers, rather than just CGI. Joe is played by twin actors. Merchandise from the campaign includes pajamas, slippers, a book and a Moz plush toy, with a portion of sales going as donations to children's charity Barnardos.

The campaign also includes many digital elements: on Facebook there will be an augmented reality feature, created by Stink, allowing people to "Mozify" their face using their Facebook camera, and in 10 stores customers will be able to create their own monster selfie at a Monster Maker station. A recording of actor Sally Phillips reading the "Moz The Monster" story will be available for download from johnlewis.com, Sky boxes and Google Home, and Google Home customers will also be able to personalize their story choosing their own sounds effects (including their own fart noise).

Meanwhile, at the John Lewis flagship shop on London's Oxford Street there will be "farting and snoring" windows. A day before the campaign broke, the retailer teased it with "monster eyes" appearing in the "o" and "e" of John Lewis on several of its stores.

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About

Credits

Date
Nov 10, 2017
Agency:
Adam & Eve/DDB London
Client:
John Lewis
Director:
Michel Gondry
Production Company:
Partizan
Editorial Company:
Whitehouse Post
Post Production:
The Mill
Customer Director:
Craig Inglis
Marketing Director:
Becky Brock
Head of Brand & Social Marketing:
Sarah Coleman
Brand Marketing Manager:
Katie Gould
Group Chief Creative Officer:
Ben Priest
Chief Creative Officer:
Richard Brim
Copywriter:
Patrick McClelland
Art Director:
Feargal Balance
Group Chief Strategy Officer:
David Golding
Executive Planning Director:
Martin Beverley
CEO:
Tammy Einav
Business Director:
Caroline Grayson
Account Director:
Sarah Kay
Account Manager:
Skye Stoppani
Producer:
Russell Taylor
Assistant Producer:
Raluca Anastasiu
Executive Producer:
Jenny Beckett
Producer:
David Stewart
Production Manager:
Richard Wilson
Production Assistant:
Theo Cassels
Director of Photography:
Tim Maurice Jones
Production Designer:
Andrew Kelly
Model Making:
Millenium FX
VFX Executive Producer:
Alex Fitzgerald
Production Coordinator:
Imogen Pai
VFX Shoot Supervisor:
Milo Paterson
VFX Shoot Supervisor:
Sam Driscoll
Media Company:
MGOMD
CEO:
Tim Pearson
Executive Director, Head of Planning:
Clare Peters
Head of Retail:
David Bratt
Client Business Director:
Andrew Darby
VFX Executive Creative Director:
Neil Davies
Creative Director:
Jorge Monteil
2D Lead Artist:
Gianluca Di Marco
3D Lead Artist:
Sam Driscoll
2D Artist:
Milo Paterson
2D Artist:
Theajo Dharan
2D Artist:
Stefan Susemihl
2D Artist:
Lucas Carracedo
2D Artist:
Gary Driver
2D Artist:
James Pratt
3D Artist:
Josh Curtis
3D Artist:
Robert Moore
3D Artist:
Maria Carriedo
3D Artist:
Jack Powell
3D Artist:
Will Burdett
3D Artist:
Clement Granjon
3D Artist:
Daniel Kmet
3D Artist:
Perrine Renard
3D Artist:
Andrew Bartholomew
3D Artist:
Margaux Huneau
3D Artist:
Vaclav Cizkovsky
3D Artist:
Tony Atherton
3D Artist:
Maxime Cronier
3D Artist:
Jesus Parra
3D Artist:
Peter Agg
3D Artist:
Joshua Barlow
3D Artist:
Philip Maddock
3D Artist:
Pavel Mimichev
Colorist:
Seamus O'Kane
Soundtrack name and composer:
Golden Slumbers
Soundtrack name and composer:
The Beatles
Performed by:
Elbow
Music Supervision Company:
Leland Music
Music Supervisor:
Abi Leland
Music Supervisor:
Ed Bailie
Sound Company:
Factory
Sound Design & Mix:
Anthony Moore
Audio Book Sound Design & Mix:
Jack Hallett
Editor:
Russell Icke
Interactive Partner:
Simon Adamson
Social Media Director:
Lauren Booty
Social Media Strategist:
Jess Taylor
Social Media Manager:
Rebecca Wilson
Head of Integrated Production:
Cave Ellson
Lead Interactive Producer:
Budr Elnusairi
Lead Interactive Producer:
Rumit Shah
Assistant Producer:
Nicholas Akinnibosun
Project Manager:
Kimmy Harvey
Head of Design:
Paul Knowles
Designer:
Santi Rey
Design Company:
King Henry
Head of cain & abel production:
Brett Kelsey
Post Producer:
Leanne Tarvin
Producer:
Stuart Henderson
Editor:
Hannah Taylor
Editor:
Joe Andrews
Editor:
James Ireland
Head of Motion Design:
Tom Lockwood
Motion Graphic Designer:
Ed Christie
Motion Graphic Designer:
Matt Richings
Interactive Designer:
Adrian Baker
Sound Company:
Factory
Sound Design & Mix:
Jack Hallett
Digital Production:
Stink Studios
Interactive Development:
Psycle Interactive

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