Organically or not, the John Lewis Christmas Advert has become like the opening ceremony for Christmas in recent years, much like the Coca Cola ‘holidays are coming’ one was in the 90s.
The difference is - that one was just the same every year, and delightful because of how naff it was. Christmas is predictable in a good way and so was the advert.
John Lewis however have got themselves into the tricky position where their advert needs to be more expensive, overwrought and, crucially, tearjerking every year.
This year's #ManOnTheMoon effort leaves no heartstring unpulled:
- LONELY OLD MAN √
- Young girl with charming, ethereal interest in outer space √
- Being alone at Christmas √
- Park bench and their inherent sadness √
- Fey cover of already sad song √
- Whimsy √
- SINGLE TEAR RUNNING DOWN CHEEK OF OLD MAN √
It’s a nicely put together ad, if a little nonsensical and shameless cribbing from Pixar’s Up, and I like that that they’ve gone down the artistic route with no merchandise-ready animal characters (though in fairness i would probably buy a plush version of the old man, and definitely his outfit, see above) and a distinct lack of carefully placed Cath Kidtson cake stands and De’Longhi kettles.
But where can the department store go from here? Will next year’s advert see a puppy stranded in the snow at Christmas, howling as he looks longingly in on a family’s Christmas dinner, while Sam Smith murdering Johnny Cash’s cover of 'Hurt' plays in the background?
John Lewis, your days of being grandmaster of Christmas may be numbered.
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