While they might form part of our annual staple Christmas diet – as much a tradition as Christmas jumpers or turkey and Brussels sprouts – the excitement around retail festive adverts now sparks a national conversation.
This year’s John Lewis advert is more cost-conscious than some of the previous offerings. Entitled ‘The Beginner’, it shows a middle-aged man learning how to skateboard and suffering a series of failed attempts and accidents in the process. The final scene introduces us to Ellie, a young teenager clutching her skateboard as she waits to enter her new foster home on Christmas day.
John Lewis director of customer Claire Pointon said: “At John Lewis we care deeply about families and recognise that they come in many different forms.
“For our biggest moment this year, we decided to focus on one kind of family that is often overlooked.”
She added: “We are also aware that not all care experience outcomes are as positive as Ellie’s.
“The home Ellie enters is filled with kindness, and the foster father’s actions demonstrate that ultimately, it’s what you do that matters most.”
Following the story of how someone who’s about to become a Foster Parent is attempting to find common ground with a stranger to make them feel comfortable, the over-arching message conveyed is just how we, at Flourish, look for ordinary people with extraordinary skills who have what it takes to apply to become a Foster Parent – people who are willing to go to exceptional lengths to transform a child’s life.
Just seeing this representation will have an impact on so many young people who feel neglected at Christmas is going to mean so much, showcasing a different dynamic tells a distinctive story to shine a light on so that people stop and think ‘How can I help?’
This year’s song that has got the John Lewis treatment is the Blink-182 classic ‘All The Small Things’. Sung by US artist Mike Geier who offers a slowed-down jazz version of the original 1999 hit, the advert ends with: ‘Over 108,000 children in the UK are in the care system.’
Dr Mica Douglas, Managing Director at Flourish Fostering said, “The John Lewis advert is a very different story to what has been done before, and an opportunity to extend the talk of what we at Flourish really care about.
“It’s commendable to see a national retailer make a long-term commitment to support the futures of young people from care and is great exposure that’s rarely seen on this scale.
“It’s about changing minds and changing lives for young people that often feel forgotten or isolated – it shows that children are cared about and that they matter. Every child in care is the nation’s child in care, and even if they can’t be a Foster Parent, everyone should make a New Year resolution to be a champion for children who cannot be cared for by their own families – together we can give them the opportunities they deserve.”
You can view the John Lewis Christmas 2022 advert here.
If you’re interested in learning more about building happier futures, please get in touch with We Are Flourish.