First off, yes, I’m aware of the inherent absurdity of reviewing an advert, and yes, I’m seriously going to do this a day after perhaps the most significant political event of our lifetime.

It’s the John Lewis Christmas advert though, and through some combination of big budget, self-fulfilling prophecy and grown adults’ need to pretend they still feel something about Christmas, it’s a big deal. Even bigger than whatever polygonal shape Toblerone is on a given day.

Last year’s commercial, in tearjerking scenes not seen since Pixar’s Up!, harnessed the unique sadness of old people being alone at Christmas, which, while beautifully executed, came off slightly sour when simultaneously, indirectly trying to sell you a Cath Kidston cake stand or Le Creuset casserole set. When I saw the dog-based teaser for the 2016 offering, it made me worry how they were going to aim for our hearts this year; would the dog get run over and Father Christmas would have to put it out of its misery? Would he just straight up shoot it in a random act of malice?

Fortunately, it seems John Lewis realised it was all getting a bit melodramatic and grandiose, so ‘Buster the Dog’, which hit YouTube this morning and goes out on ITV for the first time tonight, is much more simple and traditional.

Plot synopsis:

Father gets daughter trampoline for Christmas. Urban foxes and other assorted animals that would usually tear each other to shreds bounce on it joyfully. Cute doggo gets jealous while shut in conservatory. Said doggo bounds out on Christmas morning and has the time of its life.

It’s a happy, silly, VFX-laden two minutes that kids will enjoy, and it’s actually Christmassy, as it should be. Coca Cola's 'holidays are coming' trucks are classic remember, without relying on some kind of refugee metaphor in which squirrels cling to their wheel arches.

Obligatory soft toys have been produced to tie in with the advert (alongside a VR experience and Snapchat sponsored lens, to put into context how big these campaigns - which start planning each January - are now), with a portion of the profits from them going to The Wildlife Trusts.

The song, a cover of the Moulin Rouge-popularised ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’ comes from relative unknown British band Vaults, and while not particularly memorable, is a blessing simply because it isn’t an Ed Sheeran cover of David Bowie as many feared.

A pleasant slice of festive cheer then - I just don’t envy the parents in the advert when they have to sit their daughter down after a day of bouncing and explain the grim world situation she’s about to inherit.

Retraction: I regret recommending this advert to children, completely missed that it debunks Santa Claus

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