Christmas ad accessibility: John Lewis

The 10th December, and the 10th of our Christmas advert accessibility reviews. If you haven’t caught up on previous days, don’t fear – they can all be found in our introductory article.

Today we are reviewing John Lewis’s adverts featuring Moz the Monster.


The main John Lewis advert has no captions yet. The advert doesn’t include much speech, and the sounds are important to understanding the plot: the first sign of a monster in the boy’s bedroom is its snoring; there’s audible humour when Moz farts then laughs causing the boy’s bed to shake; at the very end, Moz the Monster snorts and you know he hasn’t left the boy completely.

Screenshot of the John Lewis Christmas advert

Moz the Monster is snoring and wakes the boy, but this isn’t captioned

However, there is a second video from John Lewis that does use YouTube’s automatic captioning, which are not 100% accurate, affecting the quality of the transcript and translated subtitles that are also automatically generated by YouTube – more on that below.

Audio description

There is no audio description for the John Lewis advert, but they have included a description of the plot on YouTube.

However, John Lewis have taken an alternative approach to typical audio description. On their website, John Lewis have a second video of the story of Moz the Monster being read by Sally Phillips, which serves as more of an audio book than audio description, but is suitable for getting the story across to blind people. This video uses YouTube’s automatic captioning to create closed captions, which we found were fairly accurate apart from in a few places, with “I was going” being captioned as “askin”; “Moz” as “Moss”, “Mars” and “must”; “until” as “and to”; “Joe” as “don’t”, “laugh” as “love”…

Screenshot of Moz the Monster bedtime story video

The second video includes closed captions of the story read by Sally Phillips


With no auto-captions on the main John Lewis advert on YouTube, there is no automatic transcript either. The YouTube video description has not been used for a transcript and instead is a link where you can interact with the monster on the John Lewis website.

Accessible video player

The video on the John Lewis website is played via YouTube and is keyboard accessible.

The verdict

Consistency is key with accessibility and it’s unfortunate that John Lewis feature accessibility elements in some videos but not all. Had John Lewis added closed captions and a transcript to their main advert as they have on their bedtime story video, this would have been a good example of an accessible advert.

Please do check out and share our series of Christmas advert accessibility reviews so we can help to ensure more people enjoy these mini blockbusters in future years. And check back tomorrow for another review!