A British department store is now broadcasting its latest
national attention-grabbing and tear-jerking television
commercial, which was shot near Queenstown, as part of its
$11.7 million Christmas campaign.
One of the more than 15 production companies which shot
commercials in the Wakatipu for domestic and overseas markets
during the winter was Robber's Dog Films Ltd.
The snowman in the NZ-made Christmas television commercial
for John Lewis, as seen on Glencoe Rd, Crown Tce, near
Arrowtown. Photo by Robber's Dog Films Ltd
The Auckland company hired about 40 southern cast and
crew members to work with its English director and Spanish
director of photography to shoot the 2012 advertisement for
retail chain John Lewis.
In the advert, children make a snowman and snow-woman on
their snow-covered garden and are called indoors to bed by
The girl opens her curtains the next morning to see the
snowman has vanished and the snow-woman is sad. The camera
shows the snowman travelling through a flock of sheep and a
forest, then across a stream, a mountain range and a motorway
to arrive outside a John Lewis store.
The girl opens her curtains again the next day to see the
snowman back where he was and the snow-woman happy and
wearing a new hat, scarf and gloves.
British signs or telephone boxes were not used, but all
clothes and dressing were imported from John Lewis.
Young Bath singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin sings a lilting
version of The Power Of Love, the 1984 hit from
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, which was released on
Friday as a single.
A private rural Dalefield residence was used as the
children's home and the Remarkables mountain range is
glimpsed. The Crown Tce and Cardrona Valley also feature and
urban scenes were captured in Auckland for the 90-second
The Journey was first broadcast in the UK on Thursday
amid many press articles which credited New Zealand as the
location. The commercial has been viewed more than one
million times on YouTube.
Film Otago Southland executive manager Kevin Jennings, of
Queenstown, said winter this year "was challenging in that it
wasn't a great snow year, which caused complications when
northern hemisphere film-makers come here in reverse season
to get snow.
"The ones who came here ultimately got what they wanted. I
think the crews just had to work harder to get it for them."
The domestic and international television commercial industry
continued to be the backbone of the film industry south of
Mr Jennings said Southern film-makers were looking forward to
a buoyant time.
"Spring has been uncharacteristically busy and things are
shaping up for summer," he said.