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John Lewis introduces #BustertheBoxer Christmas campaign with VR and Snapchat supporting activity

“2016 has certainly been quite a year, so we hope our advert will make people smile,” says Craig Inglis, customer director at John Lewis on the launch of its much-awaited campaign.

Buster the Boxer – John Lewis’ 2016 Christmas campaign

“2016 has certainly been quite a year, so we hope our advert will make people smile,” says Craig Inglis, customer director at John Lewis on the launch of its much-awaited Christmas campaign.

And smile it does. Set to a cover of the song “One Day I’ll Fly Away” by Vaults, it tells the story of a little girl called Bridget who’s obsessed with bouncing, alongside her boxer dog, Buster, who likes to follow in her footsteps.

That’s not all however, #BustertheBoxer as the ad is called, sees all sorts of wildlife (two foxes, a badger, a squirrel, and a hedgehog) coming to life in the two-minute film as they take to the trampoline Bridget’s parents are giving her for Christmas, overnight. “Gifts that everyone will love,” is the message behind it.

“It really embraces a sense of fun and magic, reminding everyone what it feels to give the perfect gift at Christmas,” Inglis adds. It was once again created by advertising agency adam&eveDDB, and directed by Dougal Wilson, who was also behind 2011’s The Long Wait, 2012’s The Journey, and 2014’s Monty’s Christmas.

The direction of it isn’t a complete surprise, however, after teaser videos were run via Twitter for the ad on an account called @Bouncing2016 and using the hashtag #BounceBounce.

The campaign otherwise comes to life in the retailer’s Oxford Street flagship store where shoppers can enter the world of Buster and his friends via a virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift. There’s also a 360-film available using Google Cardboard in the same space, or via and YouTube (as below).

Furthermore, until midnight tonight, John Lewis has a sponsored Lens on Snapchat. In selfie mode, users can access a bespoke augmented reality design that transforms their faces into Boxer, while snow falls around them and hedgehogs and squirrels dart across the screen when they raise their eyebrows. The company is also using Snapchat’s geolocation tool, enabling customers visiting any of its 48 stores to add a themed filter to their pictures.

Until Sunday 13 November, customers will also be able to use bespoke Twitter stickers so they can personalise their own photos with Buster and his friends.

The campaign supports The Wildlife Trusts as its charity partner this year, and sees various stuffed animals and other merchandise related to Buster and his friends for sale. It will air on ITV at 9.15pm this evening and otherwise be found via YouTube and Sky customers can also access a “making of” film and bespoke content about British Wildlife, presented by Wildlife TV presenter Patrick Aryee, via the On Demand homepage and Sky Go.

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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