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Editors' Choice

Introducing Buster the Boxer, Star of John Lewis’ 2016 Christmas Ad

Editors’ Choice: Another Christmas gem from adam&eveDDB, Blink’s Dougal Wilson and MPC

Introducing Buster the Boxer, Star of John Lewis’ 2016 Christmas Ad

John Lewis has launched its 2016 Christmas campaign ‘Buster the Boxer’ on, its social media channels and on Sky in an exclusive partnership. 

Created by adam&eveDDB and directed by Blink’s Dougal Wilson – who has directed three previous John Lewis Christmas commercials – the flagship spot tells the story of a little girl called Bridget who loves to jump. Her parents buy her a trampoline for Christmas and hide it in the garden to surprise her with on Christmas Day. However, after dark, in a magical world observed only by Buster, a cast of wild animals emerges – two foxes, a badger, a squirrel, and a hedgehog – who discover the trampoline and have fun jumping. On Christmas morning, Bridget excitedly runs out into the garden to discover her present however Buster bounds past her and starts bouncing on her trampoline - she watches him wide-eyed.

Buster and his wild friends were brought to life by the talented team at MPC, who also constructed the trampoline entirely in CG. It was a particularly challenging task to bring the photoreal cast to life as there isn't much in the way of real life references of wild animals like badgers bouncing on trampolines. MPC built its most advanced rigs yet in order to get the animals' physical characteristics - muscles, skin, weight - interacting with gravity, and the creatures are all hand animated. MPC’s Global Creative Director of Colour, Jean-Clément Soret graded the film.

Media planning was handled by Manning Gottlieb OMD and the spot is set to a cover version of ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’, recorded by the British band Vaults.

As the story brings to life some of Britain’s most-loved wildlife, John Lewis has chosen The Wildlife Trusts to be this year’s Christmas campaign charity partner. 

The first terrestrial TV airing will be this evening at around 9:15PM on ITV. The advert will launch with the hashtag #BusterTheBoxer. The ad can also be viewed on and on John Lewis’s YouTube channel 

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.” 

John Lewis will make a donation to The Wildlife Trusts from the sale of soft toys of the characters which feature in the advert.  The retailer has also worked with the charity on a number of fun, educational tools which will be available online, to encourage more children to develop an interest in British wildlife.  

Commenting on the charity partnership, Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts 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.” 

Blythe Pepino, lead singer of Vaults said; "We were approached about doing a version of ‘One Day I'll Fly Away’ for the iconic John Lewis Christmas ad and loved the song choice.  It’s such a powerful and beautiful song, made famous by the amazing Randy Crawford. Recording it at the Abbey Road studios with the talented, producer Chris Hill, and a 70 piece choir and 66 piece orchestra, was a truly incredible experience.”

The retailer’s flagship shop on Oxford Street will offer an exciting virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift that will bring to life the magical world of Buster and his friends.  There will also be a 360 film experience available using Google Cardboard in Oxford Street and accessible on and YouTube.  The virtual reality experience was made by MPC Creative.

Also, in a first for the retailer, John Lewis will be partnering with Snapchat to create a bespoke Snapchat lense, which is available until midnight tonight, that will transform users into Buster the Dog. Plus, throughout December, customers visiting any of John Lewis’s 48 shops will also be able to apply a  Snapchat filter to any of their pictures taken while in store.

Until Sunday 13 November, customers will also be able to use bespoke Twitter stickers so they can personalise their own photos with Buster and his friends. 

And this year, in a unique partnership with Sky, in addition to the advert, a ‘making of the ad’ film and bespoke content about British Wildlife, presented by Wildlife TV presenter Patrick Aryee will be exclusively available to Sky’s 12 million customers via the On Demand homepage and Sky Go.

Brand: John Lewis

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: adam&eveDDB

Copywriter: Ben Stilitz

Art Director: Colin Booth

Producer: Panos Louca

Executive Creative Director: Richard Brim, Ben Tollett

Chief Creative Officer: Ben Priest

Managing Director: Tammy Einav

Assistant Producer: Sion Prys

Chief Strategy Officer: David Golding

Planning Director: Martin Beverley

Account Manager: Alice Child

Business Director : Miranda Hipwell

Account Director: Caroline Grayson

Media Agency

Media Agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD

Account Director: Andrew Darby, Ric Roberts (Digital)

Planner: Clare Peters (Head of)

Production Company

Production Company: Blink

Director: Dougal Wilson

DOP: Joost Van Gelder

Producer: Nick Goldsmith

Production Manager: Hannah Fowles-Pazdro

Production Assistant: Jack Bingham


Edit Company: Final Cut

Editor: Rick Russell

Post Production / VFX

Post Production Company: MPC

Colourist: Jean-Clément Soret

VFX Supervisor: Fabian Frank (3D), Tom Harding (2D)

Producer: Hannah Ruddleston, Sandra Ekland (Line)

Executive Producer: Julie Evans

Shoot Supervisor: Tom Harding & Tito Fernandes

Creative Director: Diarmid Harrison-Murray

Animation: Tim van Hussen (Supervisor)


Music Supervision: Abi Leland, Ed Bailie @ Leland Music

Producer: Becs Bell

Sound Design: Anthony Moore @ Factory

Category: Retail and restaurants , Retail stores

Genre: Animation , Digital , Editing , People , Scenic , Storytelling , Visual VFX