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An ode to John Lewis Christmas Ads

There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmas ads long, long ago. And this year, lots of kindness...


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Before you scroll to the bottom for the 2020 to the Give a Little Love Christmas ad event (ad-vent?) we've been waiting all year for, an ode;

Dear John (Lewis),

Actually hang on, this is the opposite of a Dear John letter, it’s more of a P.S. I love you, because for me, a Christmaholic, Christmas is not Christmas until the John Lewis ad has dropped. Until my heart and tear ducts have been roused by some sad remix of a song, (a bit like that hibernating bear with the alarm clock, in fact) accompanying a story that will be burned onto my amygdala for, oh, at least the next 12 months. Last year I had hopes higher than the north pole for Excitable Edgar, the rumoured star of the 2019 Christmas ad, once again made by Adam & Eve/DBB Agency. This year, there were few rumours, only hopes that we'd see a return to the classic life-affirming storytelling that John Lewis does like nobody else? (Although last year, Sainsbury’s had an entirely decent crack). Christmas is when John Lewis comes alive and I for one will be crying through the greatest hits in preparation. Here are the JL top charts, for an inappropriate emotional breakdown at your desk. Just me? It’s just me isn’t it.


The Bear And The Hare (2013)

No. Noooo! When the little hare is so lonely on Christmas day because his best friend hibernates straight through it?! And they had SUCH a special friendship up until it got too cold to stay awake? Lily Allen brings us to tears with her uncharacteristically dulcet tones and the pure resounding joy when Bear sees Christmas for the first time! SOB! It gets me, every time. On repeat. From September till end of Feb, ok beginning of April.



Buster The Boxer (2016)

I can’t ever look at a garden trampoline the same way again. It’s sad, funny, sweet, funny, then hilarious all at once. Pure Christmas gold. Did you see the spoof Obama/Trump/Clinton version? That actually deserves its own place in the charts, so let’s call this 'straight in at number 2.5'


Monty the penguin (2014)

So many golden moments on this storyboard. The fish fingers, the bus sequence, the unbelievably cute twist at the end. No wonder toy Montys sold out in within 24 hours (and today appear on eBay for around £240)


The Long Wait (2011)

An oldie, but such a goodie. This arguably kicked off the current John Lewis Christmas equation. Acoustic song cover + cuteness + twist at the end = Christmas Ad Perfection. Who doesn’t remember the feeling of waking up excited to give presents? Well, I don’t actually, but I totally get it now.


Moz The Monster (2017)

It took me a few goes to get this one. And then when I think I got it I think I liked it. I think.


The Journey (2012)

‘Oh yes! That one with the snowman travelling far and wide to get his girlfriend a scarf and gloves, aww. I forgot about that one.’ Is how every annual conversation about the John Lewis ad goes.


Man On The Moon (2015)

Somewhat missing the essential cute element, really quite niche in the gift-inspiration department, not a great hit, except for the Aurora cover of Oasis’ Half The World Away, which was a great hit.


The Boy And The Piano (2018)

I love Elton John, but this? Let’s not even go there. John Lewis don’t even sell pianos etc. Commercialism was the Christmas spirit this year. Which, erm, yes is actually the whole point, so OK, I still love you John Lewis.

No 9


Not yet sure where this year's entry 'Excitable Edgar' fits in the top charts. It’ll take a few more watches. Ok, if you insist…

There were speculations about 2020's offering. Ahem.

but here we are... No 10

Give a Little Love 2020

It's all about kindness of course, and there are hedgehogs and pigeons and lots of love hearts, that somehow, manage not to be kitsch. Because 2020 is different, this year JL aims to raise £5 million to help 100,000 families who are struggling this Christmas.

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