The John Lewis 2019 Christmas Advert has just been released. It features a dragon called Excitable Edgar, who proves to be a bit of a liability with anything flammable until Christmas Day when he sets alight to the brandy on the Christmas pudding. Already people are saying how it’s bringing a tear to their eyes, especially with the tag line:
“Show them how much you care”
But of course, it’s the cost of such an extravaganza which also captures the attention. This year the cost remains roughly the same at £7 Million. The same as last year’s Elton John love-fest (of which Elton got £5 Million), 2017’s Moz the Monster and 2016’s Buster the Boxer. That’s a cost of £19,178 per day, £799 per hour or £13.32 per second. Given inflation, I suppose the cost is getting cheaper in real terms, but given that the store who made a loss of £25.9 Million in the six months prior to 27th July 2019, and have made a lot of staff redundant, it seems a bit strange.
So why do firms do these things? Do they see it as a necessary service to provide? Is it a good return on investment, or is it a terrible thing to do to waste so much money that could be spent on good causes?
In 2018 filmmaker Phil Beastall re-released his own 2014 video called “Love Is A Gift” which he made for £50, which left more people in tears with a simpler, more heartfelt message. Many people suggested he create the 2019 John Lewis advert. Obviously he hasn’t been invited to do so.
Maybe 2019 will give us another alternative video message from a budding filmmaker? One who understands that the Christmas message is about real people and real love and not about dragons, superstars or other monsters?
Update 17th November. He’s done it again, and it’s brilliant!
I don’t mean to be a killjoy, but the poor, the elderly, the sick and the homeless could do a lot more with £7 Million pounds than John Lewis.