The ads, created by Lowe London, show portrait-style clips of a range of characters from different demographics interspersed with their perfect gifts from John Lewis. They are set to a remix of the Beatles song 'From me to you', and carry the strapline 'If you know the person, you'll find the right present'.
The campaign, which runs for five weeks, will involve TV, interactive online and outdoor activity, including 10-second ads run on digital escalator panels. As consumers get to know the original characters, new ones will be introduced.
John Lewis head of brand communications Craig Inglis said that it had purposefully avoided the image of excessive consumerism and instead promoted a more considered approach to buying the ideal present.
The retailer believes that consumers take a more measured approach to their Christmas shopping during tougher times and although the economic downturn is not directly referenced in the £5.6m campaign, the ads purposefully present gifts at different price points to target the broadest possible consumer demographic.
Last year John Lewis returned to TV with its Christmas ads for the first time in three years. They featured carefully stacked presents that created shadows in the shape of the intended recipient and were based on a similar idea of helping people find the perfect present for the people they love.