the beginner.

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The holidays are here and the barrage of advertisements has begun, but one brand is standing above the rest for their powerful message this season.

U.K. retailer John Lewis & Partners, known for their imaginative Christmas advertisements, is instead putting a spotlight on an important cause for 2022.

In this year’s highly anticipated ad, the brand has launched “The Beginner” which shares the story of a family preparing to welcome a child in foster care — but the viewer doesn’t know that at first.

As the 90-second ad begins, a man is seen buckling on a helmet and attempting to learn — unsuccessfully — to skateboard.

A cover of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things” by Mike Geier begins to play as the man’s efforts progress through more falls and skateboard-related injuries through the Christmas season.

At the end of the video, the family is seen opening the door to a social worker and a girl, who is holding her skateboard. “I skate a bit too,” the man says pointing to his own battered board.

The ad ends with a frame sharing that there are more than 108,000 children and young people in the U.K.’s care system.

In the United States, according to a 2021 report by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 391,000 children are in foster care.

In just 24 hours since being shared, the ad has amassed more than 2.2 million views.

“As someone who’s been in the care system myself as a child, this really feels close to home … It does make you think about how powerful adverts can be, even if they are simple and basic,” one user wrote.

Another added, “This hits home really hard, as a former foster kid who was in the system for 11 years. It’s really heartwarming to see this.”

“there will come a time when you believe everything is finished. yet that will be the beginning.”

-louis l’amour

credits: today show, kait hanson, john lewis and partners

64 responses »

  1. John Lewis can always be relied upon to come up with something different at Christmas, and this is no exception. In 2013, they showed my favourite Christmas ad of all time, this one. (The soundtrack is a Lily Allen cover of a song by the band Keane.)

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Beautiful, Beth!

    My next door neighbor in San Diego took in foster kids — first a boy, Danny, then his little brother, then their twin sisters. The kids’ parents were crack addicts who lived on the street. There was fear that, as a result, the kids wouldn’t have good brains, but it seems they did. Danny was a cross dresser at a very young age who loved Barbies and his big sisters’ clothes. His little brother was just a kid, sweet and brave. One day I was heading to school about 6 a.m and Gloria ran out and motioned to me to come in. There sat two beautiful blond little girls in high chairs. Too pretty, all of it. Gloria ended up adopting all four kids. ❤️

    Danny gave me one of the most spectacular gifts of my whole life. Here’s the story from a Valentine’s Day post a long time ago though this didn’t happen on Valentine’s Day…

    One miserable day I got home from school (back when I lived in San Diego). It’d been an awful day. Frustrating, annoying, disputative, bleah. I drove up to my house disgusted with things, life and people and saw my porch was covered with red and pink flowers. Someone (I had a good idea who) had stripped every geranium, every hibiscus, even the thorny bougainvillea to do that. I was enchanted. I melted. I stepped over it and went inside. Soon there was a knock on my door, at about the height a 6 year old could reach. I knew who it was. Danny, a little boy being foster-momed by my wonderful neighbor. Danny was different; he liked his foster sister’s clothing and played with Barbies. His foster mom made no fuss over that, just left him to be himself. I opened the door and there he stood wearing pop-beads, carrying a purse and wearing lipstick. He’d been sent over to apologize. His head hung in shame. I said, “Did you do this, Danny?”
    “Yes. I’m sorry.”
    “Sorry? I LOVE it. You made me so happy!”
    “I did?
    “Yeah. It’s beautiful. I had a bad day but you made it all better!”
    He climbed up on my lap and hugged me, then jumped down and danced around the yard, his purse flapping, singing, “I did it! I did it! I did it!” —“

    Liked by 1 person

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