PADDINGTON Bear unknowingly saves Christmas as the star of Marks & Spencer’s touching festive ad campaign.
Christmas might be known as the season of mince pies and puddings but it’s also the season of giving and forgiving.
And this year Marks & Spencer upped its game with a heart-warming John-Lewis style ad that follows the iconic bear as he mistakes a burglar for Father Christmas and helps him return stolen presents.
In Paddington and the Christmas Visitor, the innocent bear’s dreams of marmalade are interrupted by a loud thud on the roof on Christmas Eve.
He stumbles upon a burglar, who makes clear that he is “not Santa”, but Paddington doesn’t seems to realise and instead shows him the error of his ways.
The unlikely friends spend their night returning presents and Paddington even pauses to snack on mince pies.
In a tear-jerking ending, the kind bear gives the final gift – a marmalade sandwich – to the burglar himself and wishes him a Merry Christmas.
The campaign by Grey London is supposed to encourage viewers to focus on their families and inject a neighbourly spirit into their Christmas.
In a first for M&S, the story of the advert has been turned into a children’s Christmas storybook available in stores and online for £3.
All profits will be donated to the charity NSPCC to help fund its vital Childline service over the Christmas season.
“Paddington injects the sense of joy, love and neighbourly spirit that makes Christmas feel magical and our story reflects the inclusive, make the most of every moment approach that we take to our customer conversations,” said Rob Weston, brand and marketing director at M&S.
The advert will air online and on TV today and will coincide with the launch of an entire Paddington Bear range in M&S shops.
It also comes just ahead of the release of the movie Paddington 2 on November 10, which will see the bear unravelling the mystery of a thief.
As soon as it turns November 1, retailers ramp up their festive game as the countdown to Christmas begins.
Mobile provider Vodafone kicked off November with its Christmas advert starring Sherlock favourite, Martin Freeman – and it’s got serious similarities to Love Actually.
Argos followed with a campaign featuring an army of action-ready elves, while Asda unveiled an advert full of Christmas magic on Friday.
John Lewis is normally the most anticipated Christmas advert although last year and it looks like the first teaser for this year’s advert was just released on Twitter.
Here are our own favourite Christmas adverts from John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin to the Coca Cola truck and Boxer the dog – to get you feeling festive.