The wrong man: Twitter recruits ‘John Lewis’ to star in Christmas campaign

Nov 20, 2018 | Online advertising, Online video, Viral and buyrals

Twitter UK has launched a Christmas TV ad featuring a man called John Lewis, who gets an avalanche of tweets each year mistaking his for the department store famous for its festive TV commercials.

Lewis secured the Twitter username @JohnLewis in 2007, and has become known for his witty responses to people who confuse him for the retailer.

Every year, the Virginian resident and US lecturer receives over 50,000 tweets intended for UK department store John Lewis and Partners.

Shot on location in his home in Blacksburg, Twitter UK’s advert, produced by agency The Romans, focuses on Lewis’ annual Christmas ritual where he responds to the increased volume of tweets he receives over the festive period, ranging from customer enquiries to discussions on John Lewis and Partners’ own retail advert.

It pays homage to the tradition of the John Lewis Christmas ad, with references to previous years’ campaigns for fans to spot, including a telescope, a miniature moon ornament, Monty the penguin and Buster the boxer.

The spot uses the tagline: “Join the conversation.”

The advert comes after the retailer released its own advert last week, which features British music icon Elton John.

“I think it’s hilarious that people mistake me for the UK store and I do my best to direct them to the right place,” said the real John Lewis. “I see a massive spike in tweets at this time of year and I always watch the John Lewis advert, especially as it becomes a huge part of my Twitter conversation.”

“I find it absolutely fascinating that Twitter UK has chosen me to star in their Christmas film. Hopefully people will be kind about my acting skills, I am no Elton John but who knows maybe I’ll get tweets about my own film this year.”

Twitter UK’s director of planning David Wilding said: “Twitter is full of amazing stories and @JohnLewis is one of our favourites. His open, honest and funny responses really capture the spirit of Twitter at Christmas and we wanted to create this film tell his story.

“Twitter is a platform that allows anyone to join the conversation, even if it’s by mistake

John Lewis the retailer was quick to join the conversation, not long after Twitter’s ad went live:

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