The 60-second ad, which is called 'Found it', was created by JWT London. It will premiere on TV during ITV's The X Factor on 8 November, but was released on YouTube yesterday (2 November).
Marketing director Richard Cristofoli said it was about "sensible investment" across every aspect of the campaign. "The TV ad this year was made for about a third of what last year's cost. It's about delivering a really engaging campaign - including an improved online gift finder and better Christmas atmosphere in our stores."
The campaign also marks the retailer's launch of speedier online delivery, inclulding next day home delivery when ordered by 10pm and free next day click and collect.
In a departure from previous years, the Christmas campaign focuses on gifting as opposed to fashion.
The spot, which uses Paul McCartney’s We All Stand Together as its soundtrack, features a group of children searching through Debenhams’ homeware, fashion and make-up departments. Finally, a little girl finds what she’s looking for – a teddy.
The TV ad will be backed by in-store, print, outdoor and digital executions, all featuring the 'Found it' strap line. Debenhams is also encouraging social media users to share their "found it" moments for the chance to win vouchers.
"The 'Found it' campaign is about so much more than a TV ad," added Cristofoli. "A multi-channel world requires a multimedia campaign so it's as much about the outdoor, print, online and social media activity as it is about TV.
"As a multi-channel retailer our campaign seeks to engage with consumers with a multi-channel approach. It is a broad campaign which can play out across all media – paid and owned."
Delivering a "heavier and earlier" schedule than previous years, the activity also includes the distrubtion of 3m gift guides, 1.4m toy brochures and beauty brochures - the biggest volumes in its 200-year history, according to the retailer.
In stores, the ‘Found It’ campaign includes window displays, in-store ‘hotspots’, gift cards and swing tags with more than 120 gift messages.
Also, cashing in on the selfie craze, Debenhams is encouraging consumers to share their #foundit moment photo to win winning £1,000 giftcard prizes, plus the chance to appear on the cover of wrap advertising in Metro.
The work was written by Kat Thomas and Alex Ball, and art directed by Ronnie Vlcek and Simon Sworn. It was directed by David Edwards through Rattling Stick, while Carat handled the media.