‘Watch out John Lewis’: Glasgow school enters race for best Christmas advert of 2023

Emme Walls and Ruary Breen (S2). (Photo: Kelvinside Academy)

A GLASGOW school is taking on John Lewis in the race to be crowned this year’s number one Christmas advert. 

Kelvinside Academy’s heart-warming ad – which stars a troupe of the school’s pupils – conveys a poignant message on paying attention to the small things this festive season. 

The beautifully produced 99-second video features a clandestine Santa Claus paying an early visit to the west end school in the dead of night, dropping off small gifts for each of the children. The grateful recipients open their presents the next school day and are delighted to find an array of small but incredibly thoughtful gifts that solve a challenge in each of their lives – including a string from a broken guitar, a wheel for a broken skateboard, and thread for a friendship bracelet for two young classmates. 

There is even a very special appearance from Kelvinside Academy’s charismatic rector Dan Wyatt. 

The touching tale premiered in front of staff and pupils on Wednesday (December 13) before it launched across social media yesterday, and has already racked up thousands of views, hundreds of reactions, and an outpouring of emotion from viewers.  

One former parent said on Instagram: “This is so beautiful to watch – KA you are way ahead of the big Christmas adverts, John Lewis watch out. Feel totally proud [that] my son attended KA and was part of the ethos and family.”  

Diane Beveridge added on Facebook: “That made us all smile, happy memories of KA! Merry Christmas!” 

Rector Dan Wyatt’s performance also came in for particular praise, with another poster, Morven McPherson, wrote: “Lovely! Mr Wyatt will be needing an Equity card soon.”

Dan Wyatt, rector at Kelvinside Academy, said: “We like to aim high at Kelvinside, and we think with the right balance of fun, feeling, and fabulous performances – from the children I might add – we’ve got what it takes to take on John Lewis, Asda, Etsy and the rest. 

“This ad was based on a concept that’s important to all at Christmas, the significance of thinking about the small things that can make a big difference, and that’s what we want people to take from it. 

“It’s a chance to do something a bit different at this time of year, and to provide a smile, provoking a feeling, or just helping somebody feel good at Christmas – and we hope that’s what people take from viewing it.” 

Kelvinside Academy worked with production company Lost Clock and marketing agency Story Shop on the video – the same team behind the school’s smash-hit Jurassic Academy video that racked up more than 350,000 views earlier this year winning celebrity fans including actor and comedian Greg Hemphill and award-winning filmmaker Gordon Buchanan. 

To view the advert, click here. To find out more about Kelvinside Academy, visit kelvinside.org

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