You’ve got to feel for the press team at TK Maxx, their annual Christmas advert just launched this morning, the culmination of months of work and make-or-break for the biggest retail moment of the year, and nobody’s talking about Laurie the organist. Because today’s the big one. The day the John Lewis ad drops.

It’s an annual event, the official starting pistol of Christmas proper, the day everyone goes completely crazy about the fact it’s only x-number of sleeps until the gluttony and frenzied commercialism of the birthday of Jesus Christ. And the ad has great pedigree. Each year it combines tear-jerking cover songs with bittersweet two-minute story lines that make us feel a little bit fuzzy about Christmas. Think the Bear and the Hare or Monty the Penguin. And this year’s no different.

This year’s ad charts the love story of a young boy, Nathan, and a space alien, Skye. The pair fall in love, bonding over Nathan’s John Lewis novelty light-up Christmas jumper (available to purchase, obviously), and he introduces Skye to other John Lewis delights, like Christmas lights (homeware) and mince pies (Waitrose).

The ad ends (spoiler-not-spoiler) with a kiss as Skye returns to outer space.

The pair fall in love, bonding over Nathan's John Lewis novelty light-up Christmas jumper (available to purchase, obviously...

Meanwhile, the soundtrack is provided by rising star Lola Young with her cover of Together In Electric Dreams. It’s suitably moving and very much completes a paint-by-numbers Christmas ad.

Aside from the not-too-Cop26 emphasis on burning electricity, it’s charming and heart-warming. But mainly it’s now officially the beginning of Christmas, even if Guy Fawkes is still waiting his annual hung, drawn and quartering.

Roll on the slew of Christmas ads which will no doubt follow in John Lewis's wake...

And that, at least, is a message we can all get behind. After a damp squib of a Christmas 2020, the normal-ness of this year’s ad underscores just how much we’re looking forward to things being, y’know, back to normal.

Roll on the slew of Christmas ads which will no doubt follow in John Lewis’s wake…

… And in the meantime, let’s buy some Christmas stuff….


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