Debenhams #YouShall Christmas campaign
Debenhams’ #YouShall Christmas campaign

Cinderella is the inspiration behind department store Debenhams’ Christmas campaign this year, with a classic fairytale ending given a modern shopping spin.

#YouShall is all about a woman who loses her shoe from her shopping bag, and a man on the train who tries to find her to return it. Hashtags and social media are used in the journey of rediscovery, but ultimately it’s a chance re-encounter that seals their fate.

Created by J. Walter Thompson London and narrated by actor Ewan McGregor, the ad is Debenhams’ bid to focus on emotional storytelling, stepping away from its more practical focus in its previous “Found It” ads.

“There is an expectation that all brands, but retailers in particular, will create storytelling content to entertain and reward. We weren’t in the game on that. This campaign builds on the insight that led to Found It but adds an extra layer of magic and enchantment,” said marketing director Richard Cristofoli.

The hope is this new ad will “seduce and inspire” shoppers. It will live across digital and on TV, as well as feature in store. “Clock strikes 12” moments, will see employees playing fairy godmothers by handing out surprises at noon each day, including gift cards, free meals and cups of coffee. Its personal shoppers will also be involved, becoming gift finders for customers.

Selfie stations, meanwhile, will enable shoppers to snap and share their own fairytale moment, while the £99 Jenny Packham shoe featured in the film will be on sale with each pair including a signed card from the designer.