Fans of the John Lewis Christmas ad have noticed there’s someone missing – and the retailer has been forced to explain
- Viewers have noticed family member missing from John Lewis ad
- READ MORE: John Lewis’s Christmas ad WON’T have you reaching for tissues
This year’s John Lewis advert strays from the classic tear-jerker in favour of a heartwarming story of a boy who grows a venus fly trap instead of a Christmas tree.
Alfie, excitedly plants the seed and is delighted to see Snapper grow – but his family panic as it gets larger and larger and eventually move the plant outside.
But by the end of the ad, the family – consisting of Alfie, his mother, grandmother and an older sibling – accept that traditions evolve over time.
However, the touching tale has raised questions for some on social media with one tweeting John Lewis directly to ask: ‘Where’s the DAD???!!!!!’.
‘This ad shows a mum and a grandma,’ John Lewis replied before going on to explain Alfie’s is a single parent family.
The little boy, named Alfie, excitedly plants the seed and is delighted to see Snapper grow – but his mum and gran panic as it gets larger and larger so they eventually move the plant outside (Alfie’s family are pictured spending Christmas Day with Snapper outside)
The advert focuses on Alfie’s blossoming friendship with Snapper and the family’s eventual acceptance that ‘traditions grow’ (Pictured is the Christmas tree they get after moving Snapper outside)
But several people on social media questioned why a father-figure was missing from the story, asking ‘Where’s the DAD???!!!!!’
John Lewis added: ‘We always attempt to show a broad representation of British life, single parent families make up nearly a quarter of families with dependent children in the UK and they aren’t often shown on TV.’
Several people expressed fury that a non-nuclear family dynamic was being showcased for the festive season.
‘[Dad] Probably only gets to see them for one hour Christmas morning after being s*****d over by the courts,’ one person fumed, while another blasted John Lewis as ‘men haters’.
‘Absolute lefty b****x, little shop of horrors, no father at Christmas,’ complained another. ‘Let’s promote failed relationships not successful ones.’
But many people were delighted at the department store’s response, and loved seeing their very-real family life represented in a positive and loving way.
READ MORE: John Lewis’s Christmas advert reveal WON’T have you reaching for tissues but the whimsical tale about a charming boy is gold! Plus it’s only the second time the retail giant has broke with tradition
One person said: ‘YES! Thank you JL – it used to upset me so much always seeing full nuclear families on Christmas ads as a kid. Love this reply almost as much as I love the advert! [green heart].’
While another grateful viewer said: ‘As a family where Christmas has always been just me, my mum, and my child, thanks for representing our family unit in this year’s ad [love heart] (but we always fail houseplants so poor Snapper wouldn’t have stood a chance with us [laughing face]).’
‘This represents my family,’ another wrote: ‘My Dad died when I was 7 so hasn’t been around for most of my Christmases.’
In an apparent response to the backlash at there being no male family members in the advert, someone wrote: ‘Some people just need to appreciate every family is different and have different traditions.
‘This year will just be Mum, Granny, and I, cherishing the time we have left together and making memories. The perfect Christmas is whatever you want it to be #traditionsgrow.’
Another defining feature of the ad this year is using an original song rather than a cover version of a classic.
Andrea Bocelli’s theatrical repetition of the lyrics ‘la vita è una festa’, meaning life is a celebration’, provides the backdrop to the heartwarming tale – in John Lewis’s second only advert to feature an original song.
The retailer’s theme this year is the marking of old and new festive traditions with the strapline ‘Let Your Traditions Grow’.
The campaign – the first by Saatchi and Saatchi for John Lewis – aims to capture how the unusual and unexpected, over the conventionally ‘perfect’, can lead to a joyful time together for everyone.
Several people expressed fury that a non-nuclear family dynamic was being showcased for the festive season
But many people were delighted at the department store’s response, and loved seeing their very-real family life represented in a positive and loving way
Charlotte Lock, Customer Director for John Lewis, said the campaign aims to honour both the old and new.
‘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,’ she explained.
‘Many of us have our own unique festive traditions and that makes them even more special.
‘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.’
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