The rumours were correct. @ExcitableEdgar, who launched a ten-second teaser on Twitter two days ago is indeed the star of this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad. He is also the star of this year’s Waitrose ad. The 2.30 minute film starring Edgar the Dragon serves as both.
Does the ad live up to the hype? Maybe not. It’s nice. But the world expects a lot more than nice from John Lewis. The hype is monumental. This year’s film is a perennial story – that of someone who is different from the rest of his community, wants to fit in but can’t. The fire-breathing dragon sets things on fire, melts children’s snowmen and turns ice skating into swimming.
The story has been given a fairy-tale setting, a medieval village and was shot in Hungary. Unusually for this story, there are no haters – Edgar takes on all the blame for his mess-ups himself. Of course, there is a happy ending. No spoiler – watch the film yourself.
One question, though. Why are red-haired children so popular in ads this year?
Following the John Lewis tradition, the film is set to a classic pop song. This year, it’s REO Speedwagon’s 1980s power ballad, Can’t Fight This Feeling, sung by Bastille frontman, Dan Smith.
The film kicked off The John Lewis & Waitrose Christmas campaign on YouTube on Thursday, November 14. The group’s 80,000 staff began spreading it on social media that night before a TV premiere of the full ad runs during ITV’s X Factor: Celebrity on Saturday. This full commercial will run several times, backed by shorter clips and separate product spots featuring Edgar for Waitrose and John Lewis.
And Christmas at John Lewis will be punctuated by lots of with Edgar merchandise, including a £15 toy dragon, a children’s book and pyjamas. The company is also be making a £150,000 donation to the hunger and food waste charity, FareShare.
The reactions so far? Here is a taste of the Twitter view:
— Jordan Mant (@jordanmant) November 14, 2019
And here’s the excitement that the film had to live up to: