John Lewis Christmas ad 2016: Buster the Boxer bounces away from usual tearjerker formula

The advert is a return to a more traditional heart-warming tone for the retailer

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The Independent Online

John Lewis has reverted back to basics as it reveals a more festive advert after admitting last year’s Man on the Moon was “too sad”.

The new two-minute clip Buster The Boxer, estimated to have cost about £7m, tells the story of a little girl called Bridget and five-year-old Biff as Buster her dog.

Her parents buy her a trampoline for Christmas and hide it in the garden to surprise her on Christmas Day.

However, during the night in a  world observed only by Buster, a cast of wildlife animals emerges (The Wildlife Trust are John Lewis’ charity partner this year) who discover the trampoline and have fun jumping.

When Christmas day comes around, Bridget excitedly runs out into the garden to discover her present but Buster beats her to it and starts bouncing on her trampoline as she watches him wide-eyed. 

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The Wildlife Trusts are this year’s charity partner

The advert is a return to a more traditional heart-warming tone for John Lewis after last year's Man on the Moon was perceived to be too melancholic by some viewers.

Craig Inglis, Customer Director at John Lewis, said: "2016 has certainly been quite a year, so we hope our advert will make people smile. It really embraces a sense of fun and magic, reminding everyone what it feels to give the perfect gift at Christmas."

"Each year we work with a charity which fits our ad, and we hope this year’s campaign will encourage more children to discover a love of British wildlife and encourage support of The Wildlife Trusts."

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John Lewis have reverted back to using Britain's most-loved wildlife animals for their new Christmas advert

A cover of Randy Crawford’s “One Day I’ll Fly Away”, which was famously covered by Nicole Kidman for the film Moulin Rouge, soundtracks the advert .

This year John Lewis has chosen up and coming band Vaults to perform the slowed-down version of the song following in the footsteps of Aurora, Gabrielle Aplin, and Tom Odell.

They will be hoping that advertising agency Adam&Eve/DDB can work their magic and catapult them Christmas number one as it has done with two of the seven songs picked for the John Lewis Christmas spot since 2009.

John Lewis have teased the advert by posting two 10 second clips of the dog watching his owner jump on a sofa and a Spacehopper to a special Twitter account on Monday and Tuesday morning.

The retailer will make a donation to The Wildlife Trusts from the sale of soft toys of the characters which feature in the advert. 

The charity will receive a donation from every £15 soft Buster or £12 soft wild animal toy sold in connection with the ad.

Commenting on the charity partnership, Stephanie Hilborne OBE, chief executive,said: "The Wildlife Trusts believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife and wild places in their daily lives.  

"So John Lewis putting some of our most beautiful British wild animals at the centre of their Christmas advert and making The Wildlife Trusts their charity of choice this Christmas is great news.  With this support we will be able to inspire thousands more children about the wonders of the natural world.”  

The first TV airing of the advert will be this evening at around 9.15 pm on ITV.

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