So it’s come to this. A John Lewis Christmas Advert rundown…
2017 John Lewis Christmas Advert: Moz The Monster
I’ll be honest with you, I’m losing this battle. Every year I come up with a new mode of attack on the John Lewis Christmas advert and every year they remain impassive – and then go ahead with another multi-million-spunking, heartstring-tugging bottom-lip trembler of an advert whose rough notation goes SAD-SAD-HAPPY-BUY AN EXPENSIVE BAR OF SOAP FOR SOMEONE YOU DON’T REALLY LIKE.
2016 John Lewis Christmas Advert: Buster The Boxer
I don’t hate Christmas. I love Christmas, but I don’t need a supermarket to fire a starting pistol for me and tell me how I’m supposed to feel about it. We live in an age where, apparently, we don’t like people telling us what to do. Unless that involves a department store using a computer-generated animal to make you go shopping and post soppy scrap all over Facebook celebrating your compliance with an advertising message. Go on, do your duty. Go and share the John Lewis advert on Facebook like the dutiful consumers you are.
2015 John Lewis Christmas Advert: Man On The Moon
Ah, #manonthemoon – the true meaning of Christmas. Vile emotional manipulation filtered through the prism of unfettered capitalism, masquerading as a kindly old spinner of yarns. If the festive period isn’t for assuaging your guilt by shedding a tear at this annual emo-porn debacle, then I don’t know what is.
2014 John Lewis Christmas Advert: Monty The Penguin
You could set your clock by John Lewis adverts – not simply by when they turn up, but exactly what ingredients and in what order. It’s an equation, refined and reduced by lots of cash, but an equation nonetheless, designed as dispassionately and as calculatedly as engine mapping on a new car. Weep and you weep at maths.
2013 John Lewis Christmas Advert: The Bear and the Hare
I could come up with something like that in 30 minutes if I had a strong cup of tea and pack of Jaffa Cakes. Animals, sadness, snow, anthropomorphism, love. Shake them up with some nice visuals and a cover of a sad song and you’ve got something that’s as easy to put together as pound cake. And a good deal more bittersweetly nauseating.
2012 John Lewis Christmas Advert: Snowman
We all know the form by now. An effort that is fairly explicitly trying to make you cry. A precision-guided Cupid’s Arrow aiming to shatter your emotional aorta and cause a blockage of sludgey mawk in your left ventricle. A psychological heart attack in advert form. In this one a snowman – bereft of a comedic genital carrot fetches some gloves for his missus (also a snowperson, but with no snowtits in evidence), requiring a massive trek across, apparently, a bit of England that resembles the Alps.
2011 John Lewis Christmas Advert: The Long Wait
It seems to be John Lewis’ modus operandi to make viewers cry these days, with their ads ploughing a fairly shameless furrow that seems to work for them. Next year’s advert will apparently feature a sickly kitten being stroked in front of an open fire by Terry Wogan for a full 120 seconds, while Gary Jules’ Mad World plays in the background.