Man makes heartbreaking Christmas advert for just £50 and viewers say it's 'better than John Lewis campaign'

The short film has garnered more than six million views on Facebook

Sabrina Barr
Friday 23 November 2018 15:35 GMT
Viral Christmas advert made by Gloucestershire videographer leaves viewers in tears

A tear-jerking Christmas film that was made for just £50 has gone viral online, with many saying that its creator should be hired by John Lewis to direct their next festive campaign.

Love is a Gift, a short film that depicts a man patiently waiting for Christmas to arrive so that he can open a special gift from a loved one, was originally made by filmmaker Phil Beastall in 2014.

Following the release of John Lewis' big-budget 2018 Christmas advert The Boy and the Piano, starring Sir Elton John, Beastall decided to share his video online again, and has received a tremendous response from thousands of viewers online.

'Love is a Gift'

In the film, the man can be seen preparing for the festive period by decorating his Christmas tree and ticking off the days on his calendar in the lead up to December 25.

When Christmas finally arrives, the man opens up a cassette box at his kitchen table and takes out one of the tapes inside, which he then listens to using a Sony Walkman.

In a heartbreaking moment, the viewers then learn that the tape was left to him by his late mother, who recorded several tapes for him to listen to every year on Christmas following her death.

'Love is a Gift'

"Merry Christmas poppet," his mother says on the tape. "Another year has passed. I wanted to start this one by saying something I haven't said yet, which is thank you. Thank you for taking the time to remember me."

As a tear falls down the man's face, it's then revealed that the tape is the last that his mother recorded for her son.

The advert ends with the tagline: "Love is a gift that lasts forever. Merry Christmas."

The touching nature of the film has resonated with scores of people online, something that Beastall believes is an essential aspect of advertising.

"People seem to like my film because it's the story that shines through," says the filmmaker, from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

"You don't always need a huge budget, just an impactful narrative that gets the message across.

"I think there's a bit of a revolution going on in the advertising industry.

"People no longer want to be overtly sold something which makes our job as video producers a lot harder because we have to sell indirectly."

'Love is a Gift'

Numerous people who've come across the film online have compared it to John Lewis' grand production, with many saying that the retailer should call on Beastall to make their next Christmas advert.

"A lot of people are struggling financially so to hear that millions is being spent on these campaigns isn't sitting well with people," he says with regards to the John Lewis advert.

"People have been saying that it's an opportunity to celebrate Elton John and promote his new film."

Nonetheless, Beastall states that he enjoyed watching the John Lewis advert, and that if the company were to ask him to make their next festive campaign, he would "obviously snap it up in an instant."

More than 18,000 comments have been left underneath Beastall's short film online.

"In tears. I have no words except John Lewis, tell your advertising team they [are] sacked," wrote Melanie Thomas. "Stop plugging Elton John's song and get this man to do your adverts."

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"Best advert ever, maybe John Lewis should pay him a million," Lisa Darling remarked.

"A lot of people are saying how it has touched them and made them feel that they can cope a little bit more this Christmas, which is amazing," Beastall says.

He continues, saying that his aim with the film was to make viewers "really reflect on what they have around them and take a moment to appreciate how lucky we are."

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