Titled “Give a Little Love”, the two-minute film is a little different to previous years, which centred on a single protagonist. Instead, this one features a host of different characters who each perform touching acts of kindness, from a young girl who helps a boy rescue his football from a tree to a snowman that offers up his own head as a spare wheel to a couple trying to get home for Christmas.
While the advert doesn’t have a singular character, each of the nine scenes in the clip are connected by a heart emblem, which signifies how acts of kindness, large and small, can positively impact the world. And this is what has inspired John Lewis’ range of merchandise for 2020.
Instead of cuddly toys, this year’s range of products include a red heart-shaped umbrella (£25) – which is featured in the advert, as well as a mug (£7) , candle (£8) , two tote bags (£5), children’s pyjamas (£15) , and a range of five different T-shirts (£8-£15).
With the theme of encouraging the nation to “Give a Little Love”, all the profits from these products will be going to two charities: FareShare, which helps those facing food poverty and boasts England footballer Marcus Rashford as its ambassador, and Home-Start, which supports parents in need.
The merchandise is being sold alongside a major joint campaign by John Lewis and Waitrose, which has the intention of raising £4 million for both charities to help make a real difference to some of those hit hardest during 2020.
James Bailey, executive director of Waitrose, said the retailer had considered not producing an advert this year, but decided to do so after learning how much of a difference it could make to the two charities.
“The pandemic has highlighted the growing inequalities across the country, with those who are already most vulnerable disproportionately impacted,” he said.
“Through our partnerships with FareShare and HomeStart we’re aiming to make a big difference to the lives of 100,000 families in the UK.
“Each year festive adverts come and go – and some are remembered more vividly than others. But our advertising this year will leave a lasting legacy - and in that way, we hope it won’t just be for Christmas.”
All the products are on sale online at Waitrose and John Lewis, and in-store from today. Take a look at what’s on offer below.
Hearts Print Cotton Tote Bag, £6, Buy now
The Give a Little Love tote bag is made of pure cotton, meaning it’s lightweight, practical and strong enough for a top-up shop or for carrying your essentials. This version features six rows of alternating coloured hearts.
Cotton Tote Bag, £6, Buy now
This version of the tote bag is also made of pure cotton, but features the “Give a Little Love” slogan inside a green heart.
Hearts Candle Tin, £8, Buy now
The Give a Little Love candle boasts soothing scent with a sensual blend of bergamot and mandarin, alongside a floral bouquet of white jasmine, magnolia, gardenia and ylang-ylang. A soft vanilla, amber and musk base rounds off the fragrance. The approximate burn time for this candle is 25 hours.
Pin Badge, £3, Buy now
Wear the Give a Little Love badge on your clothes or pin it to a bag. The heart-shaped metal badge has a golden border and back with an enamel logo front.
Mug, £7, Buy now
Give a Little Love over tea and coffee time with the John Lewis heart-shaped logo mug. Made of resilient bone china in the UK, this mug is microwave and dishwasher safe for everyday use.
Heart Shape Umbrella, £25, Buy now
The umbrella, which also features in the John Lewis advert, is a head-turner with its bright red, heart-shaped design.
Made of lightweight yet strong fibreglass and aluminium, it has a soft-feel red handle and a high-quality polyester canopy that has you covered with its 100cm diameter.
Hearts Print cotton Tank T-shirt, £15, Buy now
The hearts-print tank T-shirt features a crew neck, modern cap sleeves and is adorned with three rows of red, pink and green heart emblems.
It is made in Portugal from soft slub cotton and is also machine-washable. All the cotton pieces in the range have been produced in line with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to ‘make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future.’ Available in sizes 8-20.
Cotton Tank T-shirt, £15, Buy now
The tank T-shirt has the same fit as the heart-printed version, featuring a crew neck and modern cap sleeves, but this one features the slogan “Give a Little Love” across the chest. Available in sizes 8-20.
Men’s Cotton T-shirt, Black, £15, Buy now
The men’s version of the T-shirt comes in a regular fit with short sleeves and a crew neck. It also features a small “Give a Little Love” slogan on the left side.
The t-shirt is made in Portugal from premium cotton and is machine-washable. Available in sizes S-XXL.
Men’s Cotton T-shirt, White, £15, Buy now
This version of the T-shirt features exactly the same fit but comes in comes in a bright white shade. It also features the John Lewis “Give a Little Love” slogan. Available in sizes S-XXL.
Children’s Hugging Heart Print Cotton T-shirt, £8-£10, Buy now
The children's T-shirt features a caring “hugging heart” in white on the front and a little extra black heart at the back.
It is made in Portugal from soft jersey cotton and machine-washable. Available in sizes 2-12 years.
Children’s Cotton T-Shirt, £8-£10, Buy now
This children's T-shirt is similar to the adult’s version with the addition of a little red heart on the sleeve. It is also made in Portugal from soft jersey cotton and machine-washable. Available in sizes 2-12 years.
Children’s Hearts Print Cotton Pyjamas, £15-£19, Buy now
The children's pyjamas are made in Portugal from pure jersey cotton and feature a long-sleeved top with a caring 'hugging heart' on the front and ribbeed cuffs. The pyjama bottoms are dotted with mini hearts and have an elasticated waist for a snug fit.
Both retailers are giving customers the opportunity to donate to one of the charities every time they swipe their John Lewis or Waitrose cards while shopping.
If you are not in the position to make a financial contribution, the companies will be promoting volunteer projects across their stores for the duration of the Christmas campaign, in the hope it will encourage shoppers to “give a little love” this festive season.
You can read more about this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert here.
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