John Lewis brings Christmas ad to life with VR experience

John Lewis has created an immersive virtual reality experience for its Christmas advert at the retailer's flagship London store on Oxford Street.

Buster the Boxer: VR experience for John Lewis Christmas ad
Buster the Boxer: VR experience for John Lewis Christmas ad

The 2016 ad, which launches today (10 November), is told through the eyes of a dog called 'Buster the Boxer', who watches in envy while a number of animals bounce on a trampoline in his owners' garden - a surprise Christmas present for the owners' daughter, Bridget. The ad is set to a cover version of the song ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’, recorded by the British band Vaults.

The retailer's Oxford Street store will offer a VR experience using Oculus Rift that will bring to life the magical world of Buster and his friends. There will also be a 360 film experience available using Google Cardboard in Oxford Street and accessible on JL.com and YouTube.

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 like to give the perfect gift at Christmas."

In a first for the retailer, John Lewis will be partnering with Snapchat to create a bespoke Snapchat lens, which is available until midnight tonight, that will transform users into Buster the Dog. Plus, throughout December, customers visiting any of John Lewis’s 48 shops will also be able to apply a Snapchat filter to any of their pictures taken while in store.

Until 13 November, customers will also be able to use bespoke Twitter stickers so they can personalise their own photos with Buster and his friends. Buster the Boxer has been created by advertising agency adam&eveDDB with media planning and buying by Manning Gottlieb OMD.

John Lewis is running a number of activations in the run-up to Christmas, including staging a winter garden on its rooftop and partnering with dining experts Denby to showcase dinner party etiquette

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