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John Lewis’ 2016 Christmas ad confirms dogs are the cutest animal

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John Lewis’ hotly anticipated Christmas ad has launched online this morning (10 November 2016) and sees Buster the Boxer dog take centre stage.

Directed by Dougal Wilson and created by ad agency Adam & Eve/DDB with CG by MPC, the advert tells the story of a little girl called Bridget who loves to jump. Her mum and dad buy her a trampoline for Christmas and hide it in the garden ahead of Christmas Day. The family dog, Buster, also loves to jump but never gets the chance to express himself.

On Christmas Eve, as the trampoline sits in the family’s garden, Buster watches on as a cast of wildlife creatures – featuring two foxes, a badger, a squirrel and a hedgehog – hop on the trampoline and bounce around.

As Christmas morning arrives, Bridget runs out into the garden but before she has chance to enjoy her present, Buster bounds past her and starts bouncing on the trampoline with glee as the family watch on bewildered.

Dougal has returned as director of the spot taking over from Kim Gehrig who created Man on the Moon last year. In previous years Dougal has directed The Long Wait in 2011, The Journey in 2012 and Monty’s Christmas in 2014. In his fourth ad for the retailer, the director adds humour and warmth to the narrative, avoiding the schmaltz through thoughtful observations and pacing.

This year’s soundtrack for the two-minute ad is jazz singer Randy Crawford’s One Day I’ll Fly Away covered by south London electronic trio, The Vaults. The song offers that wistful, magical feeling we’ve come to associate with the John Lewis Christmas ad for the last few years.

Each year John Lewis works with a charity to fit its ad and this year it’s The Wildlife Trust, in which donations will be made by the retailer from the sales of the soft toy characters which feature in the advert. The ad cost around £1 million to make and the retailer will spend a further £6 million on the campaign.

Three teaser films were launched ahead of the ad on Twitter this week accompanied by “#bouncebounce”, sparking excited whispers. The spot will air for the first time on terrestrial TV this evening at 9:15pm on ITV.

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Adam & Eve/DDB: Buster the Boxer (still)

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Adam & Eve/DDB: Buster the Boxer (still)

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Adam & Eve/DDB: Buster the Boxer (still)