John Lewis

The journey of a novice determined to master a new skill

adam&eveDDB | John Lewis


In 2022, the John Lewis brand faced new challenges. Firstly, its Christmas campaigns had become less distinctive. Bigger brands with deeper pockets were now borrowing from our strategic and creative playbook and telling emotive stories about thoughtfulness to broad audiences. Secondly, against the backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis in the UK, customer confidence hit an all-time low. We realized the nation needed more than a story about a thoughtful gift.

adam&eveDDB wanted to show that giving a wrapped-up gift is a lovely thing, but there is no greater gift someone can give than their time, love and attention to someone in need. To bring this to life, we told a story about a dad learning to skateboard called “The Beginner.”

Towards the end of the story, the realization sets in that he is learning to skateboard as he is about to become a foster dad to a skateboard mad girl just before Christmas – and he wants to make her feel as welcome as possible when she arrives.

It was a story that felt right for the time we were in; a story one of hope, thoughtfulness, and love, and about what really matters in life. We used the film to launch John Lewis’ “Building Happier Futures” initiative – a commitment to help children from care over the next 10 years.


Within a week, awareness of John Lewis advertising leapfrogged every other UK brand to become the most talked about campaign in the country.

Importantly, it ignited a conversation in British culture about a critical issue that had been hiding in the shadows and gave the care experienced community a voice and a platform.

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