Touching John Lewis Christmas ad tells foster dad story


It’s finally here – John Lewis has launched its 2022 Christmas ad campaign ‘The Beginner’, which is all about raising awareness of children in care. 

Taking the Christmas ad genre and giving it social purpose the beautifully filmed 90 second advert (below) follows the launch of the ‘Building Happier Futures’ programme from the John Lewis Partnership, which is a long-term commitment to help young people with experience of the care system in a number of ways, including to find meaningful careers.

“In a challenging year, we felt it was important to demonstrate that it’s what we do that matters most,” the retailer said. 

“We are proud to use our Christmas advert as a way to generate conversation and action around an often overlooked issue.

“There are an estimated 100,000 children and young people who will spend this Christmas in care this year, and we know that many young people who have experienced care as children can often feel isolated and forgotten, particularly at Christmas.

“We want them to feel seen this Christmas and to inspire our customers to come together with us to make a real difference to those that need it.

“Through a heartfelt story of one man’s determination to connect with a child, we see the power that kindness can make to someone else’s life.

The Beginner

‘The Beginner’ was created by adam&eveDDB with input from partner charities Action for Children andWho

Cares? Scotland, as well as specialist advisors, throughout the production process. 

From the opening scene, with Christmas as a backdrop, we follow a middle-aged man as he struggles comedically to master the skill of skateboarding.

We see through his determined eyes many failed attempts and mishaps as he suffers a series of accidents.

Viewers are left questioning the motive behind his perseverance until the final scene, when there is a knock at the door. 

We see a social worker standing with Ellie, a young teenager who is waiting anxiously to enter her new Foster home, skateboard in hand.

The significance of skateboarding to our protagonist becomes clear, as we understand his resolve to find common ground and a way to connect with Ellie as she is welcomed into their family home.

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director at John Lewis, said: “Turbulent times worsen social inequalities, and Christmas is a time when this can be most keenly felt. 

“It’s more important than ever for our business to stand up and use our voice to make a difference where we can. 

“Our Christmas campaign is an important step in our long-term plans to become the employer of choice for young people leaving the care system, and to provide lasting change and hope for children like Ellie.”

Louise Hunter, CEO of Who Cares? Scotland, said: “We know that Christmas can be difficult for lots of people, and that’s particularly true for our Care Experienced community who may not have family to spend it with.

“As the national membership body for Care Experienced people, we know that the Christmas period can bring loneliness, isolation and a sense of being different from others who enjoy a more traditional Christmas Day. 

“We’re delighted that the John Lewis Christmas advert will feature a different kind of family, one which will resonate with the many thousands of people across the UK, with experience of care.

“At Who Cares? Scotland, our vision is a lifetime of equality, respect and love for all Care Experienced people and we are excited to have the support of the John Lewis Partnership in making that a reality.”

‘The Beginner’ is set to a soundtrack of All the Small Things, a cover of the Blink 182 track, performed by Mike Geier.