One of the biggest marketing events of the year, the release of the John Lewis Christmas advert, has had its desired effect and inspired thousands of people to volunteer to spend their time with elderly people who may be feeling lonely over the festive season.
John Lewis teamed up with the charity Age UK for its latest Christmas campaign, which has caused the now-usual annual storm on social media and in the newspapers, with its touching 'The Man on the Moon' story.
The advert sees a young girl gazing at the night sky through a telescope, where she spots a lonely old man sat on the moon, looking forlorn. Desperate to do something to cure his loneliness, she arranges for a hot air balloon to transport a telescope to the moon so he can witness Christmas from afar and feel part of the celebrations. The advert finishes with a screen showing the slogan 'No one should have no one at Christmas'.
Speaking to the Independent, Esther Jackson, marketing and fundraising director at Age UK, commented: "We really hoped the ad would strike a chord with people - driving not only awareness, but importantly donations and actions to help some of the million older people who go for a month without speaking to anyone.
"It's also a great reminder to us all to reach out to older family members, friends and neighbours over the cold winter months."
So far, the charity reports it has been contacted by several thousand people regarding opportunities to volunteer with older people, which it will be following up with all of them.
In addition, over 500 people have got in touch with Age UK since the advert's release to enquire about getting involved in its Contact the Elderly initiative, which arranges tea parties for over-75s who live on their own, in a bid to combat loneliness and help make old age more enjoyable.
Find the nearest Barchester nursing home.