Category Opinions

A Viral Christmas – The Rise & Rise of the John Lewis Christmas Video


john lewis christmas ads

The rise of the John Lewis Christmas ad has been incredible. Launched every year in early November, it now seems as though it marks the start of the festive season and has become a notable event in the nation’s calendar.

This years’ production is a step in a different direction for John Lewis although it retains all of the classic heart-warming, emotion-sparking ingredients that it’s renowned for – the ingredients that consistently come together to make a classic John Lewis Christmas feast.

The Man on the Moon video follows a little girl trying to reach an old man who lives alone on the moon. She can see him through a telescope and tries everything to reach him but nothing works.

On Christmas Day, a parcel floats towards the old man carried by a cluster of helium balloons. Inside the parcel is another telescope so the old man can finally see the little girl and Christmas on earth.

The aim of the ad is to bring attention to those less fortunate who could be spending Christmas alone.

Unfortunately, the ad fails to promote the relationship with Age UK, the charity it is working alongside and so the message could unfortunately be lost on some.

Account Director here at C&W, Lisa Prescott, was asked to discuss the latest ad on BBC Radio Devon and give our opinion on how well this ad has fared against previous years. You can hear the discussion below:

Now synonymous with the festive season, we have a look back where it all began for what has now become a national event.


This was the year it really all began. After a break from our screens, John Lewis returned to the world of TV with a bang. Its biggest ever seasonal campaign was an estimated £6m.


Perhaps not so memorable this one, but it was the first ad in which Craig Inglis, the current Marketing Director came on board.

  • Video can be viewed here.


The 2009 ad saw Christmas period sales increase 12.7% on the previous year and it was also the same year that agency Adam & Eve came on board.


This was John Lewis’ first tentative step towards tear-jerkers. The ad featured Ellie Goulding’s cover of ‘Your Song’ aiding the campaign to pull on its viewers heartstrings.


This was a massive step up from previous years. There was a full story behind the ad featuring a little boy desperate for Christmas to arrive.

The twist in the story is that he is in fact desperate to give gifts to his family. This touching ad also featured a great cover of Morrissey’s ‘Please. Please, please let me get what I want’.


The Journey: by this point, the ads had now become a highly anticipated festive treat – a little bit of a joy as the nights begin to draw in.


The animated one – The Bear and the Hare. Over 2 minutes long, the £7 million, Disney-style ad shows the unusual friendship of a bear and a hare. When the bear heads to his cave to hibernate, the hare is left feeling sad that his friend will miss out on Christmas.

Hare decides to wake his friend up with a John Lewis alarm clock (available to buy in all stores!) on Christmas day so the bear can enjoy the festivities.

With a soundtrack from Lily Allen, this ad is one of the most favoured so far among the nation but opinion is split in the agency!


Melting hearts, the 2014 John Lewis ad told a story of love between a child and his toy penguin, Monty. The ad evokes ‘the magic of make-believe at Christmas through a child’s eye’ according to the retailer and they had all the Monty merchandise prepared to run alongside the ad and feed off the nation’s love of their annual festive film.


This brings us back to the present day and the Man on the Moon.

So what can we expect next year? No doubt the creative team at Adam & Eve are already bouncing ideas around. And with anticipation and expectation from the nation resting on the ads, how long is this Christmas tradition going to last?