Watch: John Lewis and Waitrose ad lights up Christmas with Edgar the excitable dragon

An 'excitable' dragon who uses his fire to (literally) light up Christmas is the star of John Lewis/Waitrose's Christmas spot. There's warmth and joy in this ad that's ultimately about suppressing heat.

Edgar the dragon is the star of this year's John Lewis/Waitrose Christmas ad.
Edgar the dragon is the star of this year's John Lewis/Waitrose Christmas ad.

Breathing fire is overrated. In fact, it’s shunned upon, particularly when you live far, far away.

Edgar, who we are told is ‘excitable’ knows this. Whenever the toddler-aged dragon comes near anything Christmassy, he blows it up in flames and it irritates the village he lives in.

Thankfully, Ava, his friend, stands by Edgar when the dragon is shunned to his lair after a series of seasonal activities that get burnt to dust, or something like that.

See more festive campaigns on PRWeek's Christmas hub

Ava dreams up the ideal way to show Edgar how much she cares about him, by giving the dragon the perfect gift - a brandy-soaked Christmas pudding that could do with a fire-breathing dragon spark. 

When Ava presents Edgar back to a banquet, fear turns into applause when the dragon lights up the pud and Christmas.

This is the first Christmas campaign that was a joint venture between John Lewis and Waitrose.

Marrying these two brands was always going to be difficult. In previous years, John Lewis ads have become synonymous for tugging on heart-strings, while Waitrose spots have had a more light-hearted tone.

This ad speaks to both supermarket and department store audiences. It has a mix of heart, humour, cuteness times-100, and references both brands' purpose in a clever and nuanced way.

The dining scene at the end smacks of Waitrose, but the 'thoughtful gift-giving' is all John Lewis.

Edgar the dragon will also be merchandised across both stores. You can enjoy Edgar as a muffin or cookie, a Wellie or Ugg boot.

"The magic of friendship and making our loved ones feel special, are some of the most wonderful things about this time of year," Waitrose partner and customer director Martin George said.

"The Christmas pudding in the final scene is not just the showpiece of a spectacular feast, which brings all the villagers together. It’s a reminder that a thoughtful gesture - whether that’s a delicious meal or a special gift – can mean so much." 

John Lewis partner and customer director Craig Inglis added: "I'm delighted our two brands have come together for this year's Christmas campaign. It started from a spark of an idea - a little dragon's excitement about Christmas - and became the story of how someone goes the extra mile for their best friend to give just the right gift. 

"It's a funny, heart-warming story that will resonate with our customers as they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones this Christmas."

The soundtrack to the ad is a Bastille take on ‘Can’t fight this feeling’ by REO Speedwagon.

Dan Smith, lead singer of Bastille, said: "As a band we’ve always had a lot of fun putting a twist on classic songs, and it’s been so good to be a part of this orchestral version of an eighties classic. We’re hoping we get an Edgar for Christmas too!"

This year’s John Lewis ad has a high production value, a beautiful storyline and is crafted by Adam&EveDDB.

The spot will launch at 7am today on digital channels and will hit TV screens for I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and X-Factor, among other primetime slots.

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