It’s officially that time of year once again… the John Lewis Christmas advert has been released to the world this morning.
November is here, the festive season is right around the corner, the 2022 Manchester Christmas Markets officially start today, and now, after teasing it on social media for the past few days and after leaving people nationwide waiting with baited breath, department store retailer John Lewis has finally unveiled its 2022 Christmas advert.
And this year, the company has toned things down and taken it back to basics.
The release of the John Lewis Christmas advert comes hot off the heels of releases from competitors Tesco, Argos, Morrisons, and Aldi – as well as Asda, which many Brits have already claimed has “won Christmas” thanks to its use of classic footage from the iconic 2003 Christmas film Elf.
But with the rising cost of living crisis sadly continuing to make its impact felt nationwide, retailers are facing a tough battle for Christmas sales this year.
So, John Lewis has decided to use its 2022 Christmas advert – which is titled ‘The Beginner’ – to shine a spotlight on what it has called an “often overlooked issue” – children in the UK foster care system.
The 90-second advert, which is set to a cover of Blink-182’s All The Small Things by US artist Mike Geier – which was actually recorded around five years ago, and hasn’t been commissioned by John Lewis especially for the advert as the retailer has done so in previous years – shows the man as he struggles painfully to master skateboarding in the build-up to Christmas.
As the advert continues, we are left questioning the motive behind the man’s perseverance until the final scene.
The final scene then shows a social worker arriving at the man’s door with a young teenager named Ellie – who has arrived at her new foster home carrying her skateboard.
John Lewis said it understood that not all foster carers had the benefit of knowing who they would be looking after in advance, and that’s what the advert is aiming to highlight – with the retailer’s broader campaign also featuring “authentic voices of carers” and “young people with different experiences of a complex care system”.
“We could have heavily gone for Christmas magic and fun but that didn’t feel the right thing to do this year with everything going on,” explained Holly Kicul – Senior Advertising Manager at John Lewis.
“It felt the right thing to use this platform we have to get this message out.”
She also added that the retailer wanted to have the usual laughter and sentiment that its Christmas adverts are known for, but “in a different way to what we do normally.”
The release of the 2022 John Lewis Christmas advert also follows the launch of the John Lewis Partnership’s Building Happier Futures programme – which is aimed at providing young people in care with more career opportunities and chances to move into the workforce.
The UK’s fastest rising unisex baby names have been revealed
Some names never go out of style, and have remained firmly near the top of the popularity charts for hundreds of years.
On the flip side of that, others fall out of favour as just quickly as they enter the conversation.
But while you can probably still expect to be hearing little ones given the names Oliver, Noah, Olivia, and Isla for the foreseeable future, there’s a good chance it won’t be long before the top 10 looks quite different – with a whole host of new names and trends taking over.
One of the new trends that seems to be a hot topic of conservation for prospective parents at the moment is unisex and gender-neutral baby names.
It’s been a familiar concept for several decades now, with names like Alex, Morgan, Taylor, Ashley, Jamie, Lesley, and Jordan being just some of the names given to babies of either gender over the years, and then more-recently, hearing newborns called Riley, Charlie, River, Frankie, and Sage also becoming a regular occurrence.
Within the last year, however, the trend seems to have taken off even more than ever before, as parents become less and less worried about typical gendered names.
According to recent data, the number of unisex names has increased by 56% here in England and Wales, with a sharp rise in usage in 2022 and 2023 in particular, and high-profile celebrity couples like Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively leading the way by naming their first daughter James, and influencers Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury choosing Bambi for their baby girl, many parents are being prompted to take the plunge.
So, what are the fastest-rising unisex baby names being used for both genders then? And what monikers should parents be on the look-out for in the future?
The fastest-rising unisex names in England and Wales
Marlowe – Up 266 spots from 2020-21
Oakley – Up 249 spots
Blair – New to the Top 1000
Ronnie – New to the Top 1000
Noa – Up 190 spots
Noa – New to the Top 1000
Marlow – New to the Top 1000
Ren – New to the Top 1000
Ocean – New to the Top 1000
Sunny – Up 195 spots
Marlow / Marlowe is now considered to be a top choice for both genders in the UK, along with Blair, Ronnie, Sonny / Sunny, and Noa – many of which were names that previously weren’t in the top 1000, but has since make their way in.
Sophie Kihm, who is an expert at leading name inspiration platform, Nameberry, has put this rise in unisex name usage down to the flexibility they offer.
She explained to the Metro: “Gender neutral names are rising, both because they give children flexibility should they not identify with their birth gender, but also because gender neutral names are modern choices with contemporary style.”
Featured Image – Pinterest
Lee Rigby’s son is raising tens of thousands for charity in honour of his dad
Jack Rigby, the son of soldier Lee Rigby, is raising an absolutely huge amount of money for charity in memory of his father.
Rigby, a former Royal Fusilier who served in Afghanistan for three years, was tragically murdered by extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale outside the Woolwich Barracks in May 2013 and now, over a decade after his death, his son is hoping to raise as much as possible in his honour.
His dad was 25 when he was killed and Jack himself was only two-years-old at the time. Now 13, the inspiring young man set out on his fundraising journey earlier this year, completing a marathon on behalf of Scotty’s Little Soldiers back in May, a military bereavement charity.
Setting himself the goal of reaching the ‘Scotty’s March’ £10k target — i.e. hoping to raise a £1,000 for each year since his passing — Jack and his family have been blown after the fundraiser has already amassed over £55k in donations.
With the goalposts now being moved to £60,000 after Jack and his mum Rebecca’s efforts have led to nearly £55k in contributions to the specialised bereavement organisation to support grieving military children and young people up to the age of 25.
Writing in his post when the fundraiser was first set up, Jack said, “This year marked the 10-year anniversary, it’s never easy but this year felt even harder for some reason. To help me through this year I have been concentrating on raising funds and awareness for Scotty’s Little Soldiers…
“This [has] really helped me to concentrate on something positive at a very difficult time while helping this amazing charity“, an intitiave he has been a part ever since he was a young child, adding that he named his dog Scotty in tribute to their important work for military families across the UK.
It was only earlier this year that the teenager spoke out about his father for the first time having already smashed his fundraising target before he had even run his marathon.
As for mum, she said: “Jack was so excited to see the amount grow and seeing how much each donation made him smile meant the world to me. He and I read all the messages of support and were thankful for them all. We honestly couldn’t believe how kind and generous people were being.”