Meet John Lewis’ festive fly trap

The first Christmas campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi introduces the Christmas hero you didn’t know you needed.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


It’s here! The ad that has the nation crying into its tea cups and furiously buying merch for years has landed. (Long-term John Lewis ad fans such as this author have a house jam-packed with Moz the Monster, Monty the Penguin and Buster the Boxer).

Saatchi & Saatchi have added to the greatest hits of John Lewis festive advertising stars with arguably the most surprising character yet: Snapper, an unusual yet loveable Venus fly trap. The campaign marks the agency's first work for the brand since it picked up the account from John Lewis’ long-time creative partner, Adam&EveDDB.

The film set out to celebrate the unusual and unexpected over the pressure of festive perfection. 

The campaign features an original score sung by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. He sings 'Festa', which means ‘celebration’ in English. The song was written and produced by the Italian electropop duo Le Feste Antonacci, especially for the campaign.

Directed by Megaforce through RiffRaff, the spot opens at a jumble sale as a little boy called Teddy discovers an old-fashioned box, which looks like it has come straight out of a fairytale. The packaging reads: 'Grow your own perfect Christmas tree,' with the additional warning: 'Fast growing'.

Viewers are treated to the story of Snapper growing and chomping until he is turfed out into the garden in favour of a picture-perfect traditional tree. 

However, the little boy Teddy is not happy that his snappy friend has been turfed out into the icy garden. He grabs a present from under the Christmas tree and runs outside. His family follow in his footsteps with their own presents. 

The festive moment is interrupted by Snapper who snaps up and swallows a present whole. He spits it out into the boy’s hands and bursts wrapping paper confetti into the sky. Snapper joyfully tucks into the wrapping while spitting out presents for the whole family as they watch on in amusement. The campaign ends with the line: ‘let your traditions grow.’

Charlotte Lock, Customer Director for John Lewis, explains: “We are a nation that loves the traditions of Christmas - from classic traditions like pantos and putting up the tree to evolving new ones like crafting our own presents and Zoom get-togethers. Many of us have our own unique festive traditions and that makes them even more special.”

She continues: “The film celebrates themes of family and evolving traditions and shows that a ‘perfect’ Christmas is finding joy together with loved ones, whatever your traditions.”

Sarah Jenkins, Managing Director, Saatchi & Saatchi added: “It’s an extraordinary privilege to be working with the John Lewis Partnership, and it’s particularly magical to be launching a campaign that celebrates all of the traditions - both eternal and evolving - that make Christmas so special to the nation. The race to be the number one Christmas ad brings extra festive spice and is such a brilliant embodiment of the skills and smarts of the UK’s incredible creative industries. We’re raising a glass to all.”

This year’s ad has the widest-ever range of associated merchandise. It airs for the first time during Gogglebox on Channel 4. The TV spot is part of a bigger campaign which the retailer says is ‘the most interactive and shoppable ever.’

In a first for John Lewis and Kew Gardens, Snapper will be part of the festive favourite Christmas at Kew Light Trail. The event has become a new festive tradition for many families since it launched and this is the first time the trail has had a commercial partner. The adventures of Snapper will also continue in a series of short product films showcasing some of the brand’s must-have gifts from Nespresso Coffee Machines to the latest fragrance from Jo Malone.

The films will be released between launch and Christmas and in December there will also be a special AR filter where Meta users can bring Snapper into their own homes. 

A digital advent calendar on the John Lewis app will see Snapper reward myJL members with exclusive rewards throughout December and a host of outdoor, press and John Lewis window displays will see the character halo John Lewis Christmas ranges. 

Media was planned and bought by Manning Gottlieb OMD. It will span cinema, social and YouTube as well as activations for audiences to engage with and play with Snapper. Shoppable formats will be available through YouTube, C4 and Google with all products featured in the ad for sale through the John Lewis website, app and shops.

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