WATCH: What do you think of the new John Lewis and Waitrose Christmas advert?
PUBLISHED: 09:35 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:16 14 November 2019
Bosses at John Lewis and Waitrose across Norfolk are bracing themselves for a rush on purchases of 'Edgar' merchandise after airing their first joint Christmas advert.
For the first time the two retail giants have united on a festive advert which features a lovable young dragon called Edgar who nearly spoils the festive fun until his friend, a little girl called Ava, brings him a special gift.
The advert - shown for the first time on social media today but not set to be broadcast on television until Saturday - promotes some of the Christmas items on sale including a £15 cuddly toy, a Christmas pudding and Edgar cupcakes.
A spokeswoman from John Lewis in Norwich told this newspaper all merchandise was available from today "until it runs out."
The advert, always a much awaited part of the nation's start to Christmas, features the exuberant Edgar who almost derails festivities in his fire-breathing excitement as the star.
It is a return to familiar territory for John Lewis, which ended a decade of heart-warming tearjerkers featuring lovable animals and charming children last year.
Excitable Edgar is set to a version of REO Speedwagon's Can't Fight This Feeling by Dan Smith from the band Bastille, and was filmed over two weeks in Budapest with an extras cast of around 100 people.
It follows Edgar as he accidentally melts the ice-rink, reduces a snowman to a puddle and sets fire to a Christmas tree. Edgar finally shuts himself away in despair, but Ava encourages him to rejoin the village with the gift of a Christmas pudding, which allows him to put his fire to perfect use.
The ad's creators said they were struggling to come up with the "perfect ending" until the idea of involving Waitrose led to the Christmas pudding finale.
As in previous years, the ad encourages engagement with a good cause. This year it is food poverty charity FareShare, with "feasts" to be held in John Lewis shops and community venues ahead of Christmas.
John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis said: "I'm delighted our two brands have come together for this year's Christmas campaign.
"It started from a spark of an idea - a little dragon's excitement about Christmas - and became the story of how someone goes the extra mile for their best friend to give just the right gift.
"It's a funny, heart-warming story that will resonate with our customers as they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones this Christmas."
The the television premier will take place during ITV's The X Factor on Saturday.