Beale's best in show: John Lewis (Lowe)

Click to follow

Christmas advertising has a long tradition to honour. The token celebrity, the lush colours, the twinkly lights, the fake snow, all in epic proportions. So while adland has spent most of the year trying to future proof itself and get to grips with all things digital, agencies' Christmas work is by and large about as quaintly old-fashioned as you can get. And don't we love the time-honoured familiarity of it all.

But John Lewis has spurned the Christmas clichés for perhaps the most stylishly cool, clever ad of the season.

It's by Lowe and it's a bit of a masterpiece of craftsmanship. It's all about the sort of gifts you can buy your loved ones this Christmas, but it's not at all the conveyor belt of brands you might expect.

The ad opens in an empty room, then a silhouette appears of a man carrying a lamp. Gradually more people arrive to place other covetable objects on the floor, creating a montage of shadows on the wall. Slowly the collection of goodies casts its silhouette to create a shadowy wintry scene of a woman and her dog.

It's classy and challenging and demands several viewings. And in amongst the Christmas camp it has a calm, cool, standout.

Claire Beale is the editor of Campaign