Press Releases


You Shall... Find Your Fairytale Christmas

#youshall Christmas Advert





Leading British retailer, Debenhams launches its 2017 Christmas campaign, ‘You Shall’, today with a concept designed to seduce shoppers with storytelling and inspire gift givers on how to have a fairytale holiday season.   


The multi-million pound cross-channel campaign - which takes inspiration from Charles Perrault’s classic 1697 fairytale, Cinderella – with a modern day take on the story runs across TV, outdoor, digital, social media and print as well as being brought to life nationwide instore.


The campaign kicked off last Monday with a 20” teaser TV ad telling the tale of a young woman who loses her shoe on a crowded train and the handsome stranger who finds it.


Viewers have been held in suspense all week and will be able to view the full 90” execution online today and on TV tonight during Gogglebox. Audiences will not only be able to find out whether the pair (the women and her shoe) are reunited, but will also be treated to a guest cameo appearance by Hollywood star, Ewan McGregor who plays a pivotal role in the fairytale ending. 


A YouTube takeover kicked off the campaign at midnight last night (Thursday 9 November). There will be further chances to watch the ad throughout the weekend during further primetime slots and on ITV, Channel 4, Sky, More4 and E4.


The 2017 You Shall initiative sees Debenhams move to a creative concept which captures the spirit of Christmas with a return to storytelling.  The campaign captures the optimism with a sense of suspended reality which consumers crave at this time of year.


Richard Cristofoli, Debenhams Managing Director of Beauty and Marketing, said: “Customers told us they expect to be entertained at Christmas. Building on our ‘FoundIt’ campaign of the past 3 years, ‘You Shall’ is a modern take on a classic fairytale with finding at its core. Our story is heart-warming and uplifting. The full campaign showcases our breadth of gifts for everyone.” 


Consumers will continue to see the campaign on digital, social media, outdoor and print including titles such as You, Sunday Times Style, Stella and Grazia as well as Marie Claire, ELLE and Red.  A  Metro cover wrap is also part of the media plan detailing the 2017 fairytale’s conclusion.


‘You Shall’ gift guides are also a key component of the plan with over 1,000 gift ideas and a two million print run. The guides are available instore and will be bound into media titles including Sunday Times Style and the Mail on Sunday. Party fashion and beauty guides are inserted into Grazia and ‘Deck The Halls’ Home Editions are bound into titles including Ideal Home, Country Homes, House Beautiful and Elle Decoration.


In-store theatre has also been dialled up for 2017 with the transformation of the shop floors into glittering ballrooms. Window schemes depicting the ‘You Shall’ campaign are accompanied by more than 326,500 metres of glitter ribbon, 242,500 baubles, 12,500 twinkle tree lights and 100,000 stars across the company’s 175 store estate.


The concept is brought to life even further with flagship stores gifting shoppers ‘as the clock strikes twelve’ (midday) in the run up to Christmas with items such as glass slipper decorations to gift cards and free coffee presented by colleagues granting random acts of kindness. Food sampling and gift wrapping will also be on offer alongside a new service proposition which sees 2,000 additional staff serving customers in the 6 weeks prior to Christmas. ‘Selfie’ stations will also be in situ, encouraging shoppers to capture and share their own fun fairytale moment. Carrier bags will also carry the campaign message alongside products such as baubles and cupcakes.


Debenhams’ army of 200 personal shoppers will become ‘You Shall Gift Finders’ for the season.  Through an online reservation service customers will be able to book an appointment and delegate their Christmas shopping to a trained colleague in store.


This year the hero item of the campaign, the crystal studded stiletto was specially created by Debenhams Designer, Jenny Packham and is a limited edition, each accompanied by a personalised signed card by the designer.  Throughout the campaign key products from the retailer feature, showcasing its full fashion and gift offer including; No.1 by Jenny Packham showstopper maxi dress, J by Jasper Conran red circle stud shoulder bag and Nine by Savannah Miller black leather biker jacket.


Professional theatre appearances are also scheduled to take place in stores across the country giving shoppers a ‘Fairytale Christmas’ experience. Debenhams has teamed up with Cinderella pantomime productions in Birmingham, Liverpool, Dartford, Milton Keynes and Bradford to bring the festive feel instore with appearances from characters in the shows as well as ticket give aways and performances planned.


J. Walter Thompson London devised the ‘You Shall Find Your Fairytale Christmas’ ad campaign; TV executions were directed by Hanna Maria Heidrich and shot on location in Budapest. In-store and other executions were all created by the Debenhams in house marketing and creative teams.


Andy Smith, Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson London, said: “This year, we wanted to tell an emotional and engaging modern day love story, together with the classic Christmas charm- and what better inspiration for a love story, than Cinderella? But, to make it work we needed it to be a modern retelling, where both male and female characters are leads. Will this be a happily ever after? You shall find out soon.”


To watch the ad, visit




Notes to Editors

Debenhams is a leading international, department store destination with a proud British heritage which trades out of around 250 stores across 25 countries and is available online in more than 60 countries.  Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.


Debenhams has been investing in design for over 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands.  Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Sadie Frost and Jemima French, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Julien Macdonald, Savannah Miller, Jenny Packham, Aliza Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi and Matthew Williamson.


For more information, visit

For more information and imagery please contact:

Debenhams Press Office: 020 3549 6420 /


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