Research Task 8, Part 2: Looking at an advert

The advert I chose to look at was the 2011 John Lewis Christmas advert, The Long Wait. I chose this advert as it is one that has stuck in my mind since I saw it and one I enjoyed watching repeatedly whereas many adverts would become tedious.

The advert can be found here:


One of the reasons I think this particular advert was so successful is the inclusion of a narrative that is relatable: everyone has been a child / had a child / known a child excited about Christmas, and the clear anticipation of the child in the advert is felt through the screen, remembered from personal experiences.

The advert uses a reversal of expectations to surprise the audience at the end with the revelation that the child was excited to give rather than get which is not always seen in a child of his age. The immediate connotation taken from the advert is that the child is excited about getting presents at Christmas, this idea is enforced by manipulation of images which show the child bored and waiting as though wanting new things to do, and the subversion of this idea comes as a shock which emotionally engages the viewer who may even feel a sense of pride in the child though they have no relation to him.

The inclusion of Christmas imagery: advent calendar, nativity costume, snow and lights anchor the advert to relating exclusively to the anticipation of Christmas rather than any other event.

Aestheticism is used with the nice-looking house, the typical family of parents and two children as well as the warm colours used.

Central framing is used, the boy appearing in the center of every shot and framed by various things: e.g. door frame, bed covers, window etc.

The humour included in watching the boy’s expressions as he waits keep the viewer watching as the advert is appearing entertaining and intriguing, taking the form of a narrative rather than being commercial and “in your face”.




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