John Lewis unveil Give A Little Love Christmas ad with original song by Celeste

13 November 2020, 00:01 | Updated: 13 November 2020, 13:49

The joint Waitrose and John Lewis Give A Little Love campaign, which features Celeste's original song A Little Love, encourages the nation to spread kindness and raise £4m for two charities this year.

Waitrose and John Lewis have today unveiled his year’s Christmas ad campaign, which features an original song for the first time ever.

Inspired by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic - Give A Little Love encourages viewers to give a little love and make a lasting difference to some of those hit hardest during 2020.

The campaign's accompanying song is entitled A Little Love and was written by BRIT Awards Rising Star winner Celeste - marking the first time the iconic department store adverts haven't featured a previously released single or cover.

John Lewis and Waitrose are aiming to raise £4m for two charities: FareShare, which helps those facing food poverty and Home-Start, which works with parents who need support. 

£1m will also be donated by shop Partners to charities who support families in their local communities.

READ MORE: The best John Lewis Christmas ads... and the worst

A still from the John Lewis Christmas advert with Celeste inset
Celeste's A Little Love features on the John Lewis and Waitrose ad. Picture: Press/John Lewis and Waitrose Press/Warner

The story of Give A Little Love was created by advertising agency adam&eveDDB.

The Oscar Hudson-directed two-minute ad is designed to inspire the nation to give a little love to those around them and is a celebration of different forms of moving art - from animation and claymation to CGI and cinematography which are all connected by a heart motif.

It is made up of nine different vignettes created by eight different artists who are leading experts in their particular art, including Chris Hopewell, known for creating music videos for Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand. The unique approach was chosen in a spirit of kindness towards the creative industry, which has been hard hit by the pandemic. Multiple artists were selected instead of a single production team in order to give employment to many people across the creative industry.

The 30-second complementary advert (also directed by Oscar Hudson) was created by four Kingston University post-graduate students, who were chosen for their distinctive styles. It carries a direct call to support the two charities.

Customer donations up to the value of £2m will be match funded by a donation from the John Lewis Partnership. A further fund of over £1m has also been created to ensure all of the retailers’ shops will be actively partnering with Fareshare and Home-Start and a range of local family charities in the communities they serve.  

On top of that, every time the track is downloaded, Celeste and her record label Polydor will make a 10p donation to the campaign. 

Celeste's original song features on this year's John Lewis and Waitrose Christmas ad
Celeste's original song features on this year's John Lewis and Waitrose Christmas ad. Picture: Universal Music/Press

Commenting on her song Celeste said; “I felt honoured to be asked to take part. I wanted to create something that felt classic but still true to who I am as a writer and performer.”

The adverts - which go live on social media channels at 7am this morning - will first be broadcast on TV tomorrow evening on ITV during The Voice.

READ MORE: Celeste named Rising Star at the BRITs Awards 2020

James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the growing inequalities across the country, with those who are already most vulnerable disproportionately impacted. Through our partnerships with Fareshare and HomeStart we’re aiming to make a big difference to the lives of 100,000 families in the UK.

"Each year festive adverts come and go - and some are remembered more vividly than others. But our advertising this year will leave a lasting legacy - and in that way, we hope it won’t just be for Christmas.

"We did consider whether it was right to produce an ad this year at all. However, FareShare and Home-Start, told us how much of a difference this campaign could make, both on a financial level and in raising awareness of the incredibly important work they do with families across the UK.”

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of  John Lewis, said: “We recently set out  our ambition for our business to be a force for good - so we decided that this year was the year to break the mould and do something different.

"We have a long tradition of helping support the communities which we serve, so as we launch one of the best loved assets, our Christmas ad, it’s fitting to take this one step further by working hand in hand with two incredible charities supporting families in need.

"We were humbled by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic. We want this campaign to be uplifting and to inspire everyone to give some kindness in their own way this Christmas, especially to those who need it most. The pandemic has proved that it’s our small acts of love and kindness, particularly in challenging times, that captures what it is to be human; and when one small act of kindness multiplies it can have a lasting impact."

Peter Grigg, Chief Executive at Home-Start, said: “Families are running on empty. The pandemic has been hard for all families, but it’s been toughest on those already facing challenges around mental health, low incomes, and other challenges in their lives. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown in our communities during the pandemic, but I know there is so much more to do. That is why I am so proud that John Lewis and Waitrose are supporting Home-Start with this amazing campaign. With the help of John Lewis and Waitrose Partners and customers we will be able to work with more families when they need us most."

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, said: “This year has been incredibly tough for so many and FareShare has seen the need for our food skyrocket. The number of charities and community groups applying to receive food through FareShare has more than doubled and 90% of the organisations we work with expect demand to remain the same as at peak crisis levels, or even increase through the winter.

"We continue to provide over two million meals per week to vulnerable communities across the UK, and more than two thirds of the food we distribute goes to children and families, so we know that there is a real need for our work at this time.

"We are so thrilled to be partnering with Waitrose and John Lewis, which will help raise awareness of the work FareShare does in supporting thousands of families every day. The extensive nature of this joint partnership is remarkable and will enable us to have a big impact on the lives of so many during the tough months ahead.'