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John Lewis

The power of storytelling — and a homage to the John Lewis Christmas ad

It’s official — we can now legitimately get excited about Christmas. Why? Because today the festive institution that is the annual John Lewis Christmas ad was finally unveiled.

As thousands of Brits sat eagerly awaiting the first official ‘screening’ (including, it should be said, quite a few of the OSP team…), it seems staggering that a TV ad for a department store can slip under the skin of the public and get talked about quite so much.

What is it about the John Lewis ads that elicit so much interest that even the great red Coca Cola Christmas train can’t keep up? What makes them stand out from the crowd?

Is it the length? The ads are at least double the standard 30 seconds. The choice of music also plays a part with the ads featuring cover versions of popular songs, usually sung by female vocalists. Perhaps it’s the ‘formula’, with almost every ad in recent years focusing on a love story of some kind — be it between a boy and his penguin, or a hare and a bear.

We believe it’s all about the story telling. Over the years, the ads have started to focus less on hard-selling the formidable John Lewis brand and more on conveying emotion.

At OSP, we understand the power of emotive video. Since 1993, we’ve been producing award-winning videos that help inform and educate — and evoke reactions from — specialist audiences worldwide. We love nothing more than seeing our videos create an emotional response — be it thousands of people shedding tears at an internal conference, or delegates ducking their heads to dodge red blood cells whilst riding a motion simulator at a congress.

We create videos that make a difference. To find out more, contact