John Lewis has launched its highly anticipated 2016 Christmas advertising campaign 'Buster The Boxer'. The advert, which can already be viewed on the retailer's website and social media channels, will be aired on TV for the first time tonight at around 9.15pm on ITV.
Set to a cover version of the song 'One Day I'll Fly Away', recorded by the British band Vaults, the two minute advert tells the story of Buster the Boxer dog, played by five-year-old Biff, and his family at Christmas.
It begins with a little girl called Bridget who loves to jump, so her parents buy her a trampoline for Christmas. After her father constructs the trampoline in their garden, the gift is ready and waiting to surprise Bridget on Christmas morning.
But during the night, in a magical world only Buster can see, a cast of animals emerge - two foxes, a badger, a squirrel and a hedgehog - to have a go on the trampoline, as Buster watches all the fun behind a closed door. The next morning Bridget excitedly runs out to discover her present, but Buster beats her to it, rushing past her to be the first to jump on the trampoline, as the whole family looks on in disbelief.
As the story features some of Britain's best loved wildlife, John Lewis has chosen The Wildlife Trusts to be their charity partner this year.
Craig Inglis, Customer Director at John Lewis said, "2016 has certainly been quite a year, so we hope our advert will make people smile. It really embraces a sense of fun and magic, reminding everyone what it feels to give the perfect gift at Christmas.
"Each year we work with a charity which fits our ad, and we hope this year’s campaign will encourage more children to discover a love of British wildlife and encourage support of The Wildlife Trusts."
The retailer will make a donation to The Wildlife Trusts from the sale of soft toys of the characters featured in the advert and also include a number of fun, educational tools available online, to encourage more children to develop an interest in British wildlife.
Commenting on the charity partnership, Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts said, "The Wildlife Trusts believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife and wild places in their daily lives. So John Lewis putting some of our most beautiful British wild animals at the centre of their Christmas advert and making The Wildlife Trusts their charity of choice this Christmas is great news. With this support we will be able to inspire thousands more children about the wonders of the natural world"
For those heading into their flagship store on Oxford Street, shoppers will be offered a virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift that will bring to life the magical world of Buster and his friends. John Lewis has also partnered with Snapchat to create a lense that transforms users into Buster the Dog, available until midnight tonight.
Watch the 2016 John Lewis Christmas Advert