Charles Schultz predicted the Christmas sprawl of advertisers in 1974 when he worked a joke into the Peanuts Easter special that Christmas was only 246 days away. So it will come as no surprise that the holidays are loaded with commercialism. Here in the US most are just loud ads that aren’t particularly creative, “BUY THIS CAR!”, “BUY HER A RING!”, “BUY JUST BECAUSE YOU SHOULD!”

Face it, most holiday ads are depressingly bad; but there is hope. Some brands, particularly overseas, are utilizing truly amazing storytelling in their ad campaigns around the holidays. Emotional storytelling at it’s finest. So to celebrate this we’ve kicked off “The 12 Workdays of Christmas” featuring one stellar example of a brand taking a back seat to exceptional video storytelling that exudes the holiday spirit. Some will make you think. Some will make you laugh. Some will make you cry. Some will achieve the Hallmark Channel trifecta and do all three.

On our first workday of Christmas is this year’s John Lewis ad “Buster”. John Lewis is a chain of upmarket department stores operating throughout the United Kingdom and are the kings of great storytelling when it comes to holiday ads. I assure you there will be more of their ads featured in the days to come.

Why does it work? It’s got a cute kid. It’s got great music. It will make you laugh. Oh yeah…and it’s got an awesome dog.


In a little over a month the video has almost 22 million views and John Lewis has partnered with The Wildlife Trusts to help protect and restore the UK’s wildlife and natural habitat.

View Day 2: English for Beginners >>


Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee. Read more of Eric’s posts