Thinkboxes November/December 2011 Winner: John Lewis’ 'The Long Wait' by adam&eveDDB

The winner of the November/December Thinkboxes award is John Lewis with ‘The Long Wait’. For Christmas 2011, the retailer wanted to continue its tradition of releasing a big television ad that would touch and inspire the nation.

The film tells the story of a young boy and his wait for Christmas morning. A version of the classic and compelling track Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want, originally by The Smiths, is used on the ad, performed by singer-songwriter Slow Moving Millie.

The thought of ‘gifts you can’t wait to give’ was a heartwarming insight into the excitement of buying a present for a loved one. Craig Inglis, Director of Marketing at John Lewis, says the aim of the ad was to bring to life the retailer’s proposition of being the place for buying thoughtful Christmas gifts, in a way that would connect with its customers emotionally.

The TV campaign launched in November and, as expected, created an immediate buzz, in mainstream media and on social networking sites.


The ad was rooted in a truth about what really matters at Christmas and that resonated with our core audience. Our challenge is to build on the success of this and other campaigns by continuing to be true to who we are, but to keep doing so in a fresh and innovative way

Craig Inglis Director of Marketing, John Lewis

Client John Lewis; Ad agency Adam & Eve; Creative team Matt Gay, John Long; Production Blink Productions; Director Dougal Wilson

Other ads on the podium

Barnardo’s Life Story (2nd)

  • Creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty;
  • Creative team Mel Lynch, Rory Hall, Nick Gill;
  • Client Diana Tickell;
  • Production company Rattling Stick;
  • Director Ringan Ledwidge

Avios: Anything Can Fly (3rd)

  • Creative agency 101
  • Creative team Richard Flintham, Augusto Sola
  • Clients Fred Prego, Rahul Patel
  • Production company HLA
  • Director Simon Ratigan

Also shortlisted

Boots The Ultimatum

  • Creative agency Mother
  • Creative team Mother
  • Client Elizabeth Fagan
  • Production company Outsider
  • Director Ric Cantor

HTC Soundwave

  • Creative agency Mother
  • Creative team Mother
  • Client Ben Walsh
  • Production company OneSix7Productions
  • Directors Leila and Damien de Blinkk

A view from a Thinkbox Academy member on this month's picks

Danny Brooke Taylor

This series of ads is one of the most beautiful in years. They mesmerise and captivate like nothing else in the commercial break.

Danny Brooke-Taylor Founding partner, Lucky Generals

Click here to see who won the previous award

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