Tissues at the ready! Filmmaker who went viral with £50 Christmas ad to rival John Lewis returns with another tear-jerker starring his wife as an elf

  • Phil Beastall, 34, challenged John Lewis with a Christmas ad costing £50 in 2018
  • This year he created another festive tear-jerking advert starring his wife as an elf
  • Leicestershire-based Phil’s ad shows the elf comforting an isolated widower   
  • READ: Aldi releases an adorable Home Alone-inspired Christmas advert
  • READ: John Lewis’ Christmas advert is branded a ‘breath of fresh air’ 

The filmmaker behind the £50 advert that gave John Lewis a run for their money in 2018 has released a new festive tearjerker about the heartbreaking experience of being lonely at Christmas.

Phil Beastall, who left the nation in tears with his ad Love Is A Gift four years ago, has focused his 2022 festive offering on an isolated widower and a kind elf – played by his own wife, Sarah Carmel, 35.

The 36-year-old creator, from Hinckley, Leicestershire, used the interaction between his characters to show how even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference this Christmas.

Phil, who also created the music video for Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved, said he hoped the ad, titled A Little Help, would remind viewers that there are lonely people ‘suffering in silence’ and that small gestures can ‘bring sunshine’ to their lives.

The filmmaker behind the £50 advert that gave John Lewis a run for their money in 2018 has released a new festive tearjerker (pictured) about the heartbreaking experience of being lonely at Christmas

Phil Beastall , who left the nation in tears with his ad Love Is A Gift four years ago, has focused his 2022 festive offering on an isolated widower and a kind elf – played by his own wife (pictured), Sarah Carmel, 35


The 36-year-old creator (pictured with his wife), from Hinckley, Leicestershire, used the interaction between his characters to show how even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference this Christmas

The ad opens with a young woman walking down the street before saying hello to a dressing-gown clad pensioner taking in his bins.

She continues walking and can be seen entering a graveyard and looking over where the same man, now dressed, is sitting pensively on a bench looking at a headstone.

Later that evening she walks past his house and glances into the window, featuring no Christmas decorations, where she sees the gentleman standing looking at a photo frame in his hand.

The scene then cuts to the woman walking through woodland where she declares ‘good morning’ to her squirrel and bird friends high up in a tree and asks them for some berries and nuts.

Phil, who also created the music video for Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved, said he hoped the ad (pictured), titled A Little Help, would remind viewers that there are lonely people ‘suffering in silence’ and that small gestures can ‘bring sunshine’ to their lives

The ad opens with a young woman walking down the street before saying hello to a dressing-gown clad pensioner taking in his bins

She continues walking and can be seen entering a graveyard and looking over where the same man, now dressed, is sitting pensively on a bench looking at a headstone

Her woodland pals obligingly throw some red berries and one solitary nut.

When she gently chastises them ‘one nut? Come on, it’s Christmas’ her cheeky woodland friends shower her in them – leaving her to meekly reply ‘thanks’.

The scene then cuts to night time and the woman carrying a home-made wreath featuring her foraged decorations with a lit candle in the centre.

Smiling, she gently places the handmade gift on the doorstep before ringing the bell and walking away.

The man opens the door, glances down and picks up the unexpected gift while breaking into a smile before taking it inside.

The woman (pictured) is seen walking through woodland where she declares ‘good morning’ to her squirrel and bird friends high up in a tree and asks them for some berries and nuts

The scene then cuts to night time and the woman carrying a home-made wreath featuring her foraged decorations with a lit candle in the centre

Smiling, she gently places the handmade gift on the doorstep before ringing the bell and walking away. The man opens the door, glances down and picks up the unexpected gift while breaking into a smile before taking it inside

The following day, the woman returns to the graveyard and spots the man gently laying the wreath at his loved one’s headstone.

He glances over, the pair exchange smiles and she waves in return before walking away. 

The woman then returns home and smiles into the hallway mirror. As she removes her knitted hat the camera pans left, where out of shot her shadow reveals her elf ears.

The filmmaker went viral in 2018 with his Love Is a Gift video, which has been viewed more than 50million times in the UK and was hailed by many as superior to that year’s Elton John-themed John Lewis ad.

Phil said: ‘I went right back to basics [with this film]. It’s quite heartfelt, it’s a bit of a tearjerker, but I also wanted it to be really positive.

The following day, the woman returns to the graveyard and spots the man gently laying the wreath at his loved one’s headstone. He glances over, the pair exchange smiles and she waves in return before walking away

The woman then returns home and smiles into the hallway mirror. As she removes her knitted hat the camera pans left, where out of shot her shadow reveals her elf ears

‘There are a lot of people in the world who are lonely and I don’t think we realise how the small things can make such a huge difference for others. That gesture of hers has really brought Christmas to him. 

‘We deliberately shot it so that there’s no Christmas lights on his house, he’s quite vacant and lonely [to begin with] and then at the end you see him smile.

‘The idea is she’s brought Christmas to him and how just that small gesture can bring a ray of sunshine to his life.

‘I think there are a lot of people in this world who are suffering in silence and it’s a nice opportunity for us to think “is there someone that I can pick up the phone to or give a small gift that might make their day or year?”.’

Phil, who admits he enjoys working alongside his wife, said: ‘It’s always nice to have a twist in the films that I make, I quite like the idea that she’s “not of this world” – an elf.


The filmmaker went viral in 2018 with his Love Is a Gift video, which has been viewed more than 50million times in the UK and was hailed by many as superior to that year’s Elton John-themed John Lewis ad. Pictured right, Sarah and Phil, and left, Sarah

‘I didn’t want it to be this big crazy reveal where you see the ears, the shadow is a nod towards it. I think she represents the idea of what it is to do good in the world, her job is to go around spreading happiness.

‘She saw him, saw he was in need and decided to go to chat with her mates in the woods, the squirrels and the birds, and got a wreath together so he could feel a bit better. It was really nice watching it.

‘I put a lot of pressure on myself to create something that people are going to enjoy because I’m a perfectionist but also because I’ve got a film like Love is a Gift, which people really enjoyed.

‘Whenever I make films I want there to be a deeper message and I do want people either do things off the back of it or at least have a thought. I have a role to play with the content I can make to hopefully make a difference.’

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