Thinkboxes November/December 2012 Winner: John Lewis’ 'The Journey' by adam&eveDDB

For a UK retailer, Christmas is the advertising equivalent of the US Super Bowl, when ads are judged to be ‘winners’ or ‘losers’.

For John Lewis, the ad output of which has won multiple awards in recent years and is always looked forward to, the pressure was on to say something appropriate and meaningful, in innovative style.

‘The Journey’, which features a snowman’s epic voyage to find the perfect gift for his snowwoman, pulled it off with aplomb. The long approval process necessitated by the retailer’s partnership structure meant that filming had to take place in the summer, and therefore in New Zealand – where real snow could be found to lend an authentic look.

The 90-, 60- and 30-second cuts of the ad were set to Gabrielle Aplin’s cover of The Power of Love, with proceeds donated to Save The Children. They were also supported by social media, in-store materials, knittable toys and a story book.

“[This ad] was all about bringing to life the lengths our customers go to to find the perfect gift. It built on the emotional thread of our 2011 campaign but with a fresh creative approach,’ said Craig Inglis, Marketing Director at John Lewis.”


I am delighted to have won this Thinkboxes award. It reflects how well our snowman touched the hearts of the UK public, generating an incredible response to the campaign.

Craig Inglis Marketing Director, John Lewis

Client John Lewis; Ad agency adam&eveDDB; Creative team Frank Ginger & Shay Redding; Production Blink; Director Dougal Wilson

Other ads on the podium

Department of Health: Mutation (2nd)

  • Creative agencies Dare, Now;
  • Creative team Sean Vrabel, Stuart Woodall Clients Sheila Mitchell, Caroline Fox
  • Production company HLA
  • Director Simon Ratigan

Morrisons: The Truth (3rd)

  • Creative agency DLKW Lowe
  • Creative team Matt Lever, Helen Rhodes
  • Client Fiona Davies
  • Production company Academy
  • Directors Si & Ad

Also shortlisted

EE: Mobile Gaming

  • Creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Creative team Rob Potts, Andy Jex
  • Client Ian Smith
  • Production company Rattling Stick
  • Director Ringan Ledwidge

Acer Aspire S7: VoxFox

  • Creative agency Mother
  • Creative team Mothe
  • Client Maarten Schellekens
  • Production company Stink
  • Director Ivan Zacharias

A view from Thinkbox Academy member on this month’s picks


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Mick Mahoney Executive Creative Director, Havas Worldwide London

Click here to see who won the previous award

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