Added on: 13th November, 2020 by O1
Considered by many as a sign that the countdown to Christmas has begun, this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert was released 13th November, the opening and closing scenes of which were filmed in Orpington, on the Forest Way/Friar Road roundabout, with production parking at Goddington Park and the nearby church hall used as a holding area.
Local houses were dressed with Christmas decorations and fake snow was added to give it a festive feel.
The advert forms one element of a major campaign by John Lewis and Waitrose, launched on World Kindness Day, under the strapline ‘Give A Little Love’, aiming to make a lasting difference to some of those hit hardest during 2020. Brit-award winner Celeste wrote the original song, called Give a Little Love. wrote the original song for the advert, called “Give a Little Love”.
The two-minute film is made up of nine animated vignettes by eight different artists, each depicting an act of kindness which inspires the recipient to pass on the goodwill, beginning with a young boy getting his football stuck in a tree being who is helped out by a young girl and her umbrella. The ad ends back on the roundabout with the message 'Give A Little Love' written in the sky.
When scouting for their perfect location, the creative teams wanted somewhere that could help them create the perfect suburban winter scene. They had several locations to choose from but the roundabout on Friar Road/Forest Way ensured not only the ideal suburban backdrop, but also that they could effectively manage the vicinity in a film friendly borough with the support of local residents.
Filming took place on the 16th October 2020, with some preparation of the site the day before, including the first layer of environmentally-friendly fake snow - which was promptly rained away. It was reset the following morning with another layer which was then topped up throughout the day, ensuring a safe, day-long Christmas wonderland!
We asked Rhian Sharpe, General Manager of FilmFixer, which looks after the film locations, about the challenges of filming such a high profile campaign.
“From a borough film office and council point of view, high profile campaigns such as this always mean, lots of people, lots of equipment and great interest from the public. Filming is exciting no matter what, however filming of this scale does tend to draw attention. The production team were very experienced in managing the public on the day, ensuring that the local residents got to see what was going on, keeping an eye on public safety whilst maintaining an air of mystery about what was being filmed.
“Christmas commercials are big projects and they require a lot of moving parts. Bromley Council and Bromley FilmFixer were happy to work with production to facilitate their ever-changing creative briefs and would welcome them back to the borough at every opportunity."
Together John Lewis and Waitrose are aiming to raise £4m for FareShare and Home-Start, and £1m will also be donated by shop Partners to charities who support families in their local communities. These donations will be used to provide food, comfort, emotional support and advice to at least 100,000 families in need.