An excitable young dragon named Edgar is the star of the first joint Christmas campaign from John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners.
Created by Adam & Eve/DDB, the much-anticipated ad, "Excitable Edgar", launches today (Thursday) on social media and on TV on Saturday during ITV’s The X Factor: Celebrity.
It depicts a girl called Ava who is preparing for Christmas with her loved ones, including her best friend Edgar. But Edgar is so enthusiastic for the holiday that he can’t control his instinct to breathe fire, ruining some of the celebrations.
After accidentally melting an ice rink, reducing a snowman to a puddle and burning the village Christmas tree, the disheartened Edgar shuts himself away to prevent further disaster. To show the dragon how much she cares, Ava gives him a special role to play at the festivities, where he sets alight a Christmas pudding to great acclaim.
The spot is set to Can’t Fight This Feeling, originally by REO Speedwagon and re-recorded by Dan Smith from Bastille.
It was shot in Hungary and directed by Blink’s Dougal Wilson, who has been behind many of John Lewis’ previous Christmas ads, including the seminal "The long wait" in 2011 and "Monty the penguin" in 2014. Untold Studios handled post-production and Manning Gottlieb OMD is the media agency.
Using the tagline "Show them how much you care", the campaign’s theme is thoughtfulness and bringing people together, whether through food or gifts.
It will include a partnership with ITV, individual product spots, a Snapchat lens that gives users an Edgar makeover and a bespoke dragon emoji on Twitter until 25 December.
An Edgar plush toy, storybook and Christmas pudding will be on sale in both John Lewis and Waitrose stores. John Lewis is also selling Edgar children’s pyjamas, Wellington boots and slippers, while Waitrose will have cupcakes, chocolates and gingerbread biscuits featuring the character.
Martin George, partner and customer director at Waitrose, said: "The magic of friendship and making our loved ones feel special are some of the most wonderful things about this time of year. The Christmas pudding in the final scene is not just the showpiece of a spectacular feast which brings all the villagers together. It’s a reminder that a thoughtful gesture – whether that’s a delicious meal or a special gift – can mean so much."
Craig Inglis, partner and customer director at John Lewis, said: "I'm delighted our two brands have come together for this year's Christmas campaign. It started from a spark of an idea – a little dragon's excitement about Christmas – and became the story of how someone goes the extra mile for their best friend to give just the right gift. It's a funny, heart-warming story that will resonate with our customers as they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones this Christmas."