Meet the man behind the UK’s most popular advert

Craig Inglis
Craig Inglis
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“The Journey” – the title of John Lewis’ new Christmas ad – could be a tag equally applied to Craig Inglis.

From his beginnings in Mountfleurie, via Napier University in Edinburgh, the 43-year-old director of marketing has enjoyed a phenomenally successful career.

But he took some time out to tell the Mail a little more about his latest project, which features a determined snowman on a heroic quest across rivers, mountains and even motorways to find a perfect present for his beloved snowgirl.

“Because the ad was shot in July, we travelled to Auckland and Queenstown, New Zealand, for the three-week shoot,” he explained.

“In scenes by the road and the city centre, people were driving or walking by and doing a double take.

“When the snowman arrived at his destination, it was late on a Saturday night and people were coming out of the pubs and clubs to see us filming. He became a bit of a star then!”

The action is accompanied by a haunting new version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘The Power of Love’, sung by 20-year-old Gabrielle Aplin, which reached nummber one in the charts last week.

But what is the secret formula which makes the John Lewis ads so successful?

“That’s the 64 million dollar question,” Craig answered.

“First, I think we talk to people on an emotional level, particularly at Christmas. When we launched last year’s ad, and this year’s, people told us they could finally feel Christmassy.

“Second, the fact it’s really rooted in the truth about John Lewis. We are the place where people will come to find that perfect gift.

“Ultimately, I think TV ads are at their best when they tell a story.”

Craig, who now lives in London, travels north a few times each year to see his parents, Bob (70), a former miner, and his mum Jean (66) who was a secretary at Hyndhead School in Buckhaven.

“My family and friends over the years have been my hardest critics, particularly my three kids who watch the rough cuts when we are on summer holiday,” he said.

“But they are all really supportive. Fife is still where the heart is.”