Christmas is coming… The annual John Lewis advert has finally been unleashed, and as always, it has a heartwarming tale to tell. This year’s visual – produced in association with Age UK, follows a little girl called Lily, who discovers a lonely old man living on the moon through her telescope. To a stripped-back cover of Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’, Lily attempts to make contact with the man on the moon. But what do our writers think?
“The Oasis cover works perfectly to create warmth and nostalgia, and having different generations work as its central characters is pretty cute. But now I’m sad for the lonely man on the moon.” – Amy Wootten, Records Editor.
“I was absolutely fine until the old bloke started crying. I can’t be dealing with this range of emotions so early on in November…” – Will Hodgetts, Live Editor.
“Although not quite capturing the unexpected and adorable nature of Monty’s Christmas’ advert, the topical message behind it gives it a sense of purposeful power that none have achieved in the years before. Plus, glow in the dark pyjamas sound cool” – Lewis Taplin, Deputy Editor.
“As usual, my emotions have been turned to swiss cheese. Well done John Lewis. I’m still not gonna buy your products though.” – Ben Robins, Film Editor.
“John Lewis strikes again. Though 2011 will always be the only year to rouse a tear from my eye with their ad, this year still made me pretty emotional. Also, the music was spot on! As always- a fabulous advert to get me into the festive mood.” – Rehana Nurmahi, writer.
“John Lewis once again had me shedding a tear at the end, but i did feel the advert had certain symbolism, and definitely got me thinking about christmas one month too early.” – Tobias Preston, writer.
“I hate to be cynical about something so well-meaning and beautifully made, but why didn’t the little girl ring NASA? Or tell her parents? She could have helped the man get home and have some Christmas dinner! What does he even eat, up there? Moon cheese?” – Anneka Honeyball, News Editor.
“The only thing more disturbing than the deluded boy and his penguin thing from last year is the everlasting way this capitalist enterprise can hook the public. Also there’s no mention of Age UK IN the advert, and BALLOONS DON’T WORK THAT WAY!” – George Seabrook, writer.
“I think I just have a black soul or I watched it way too early in the morning, but I didn’t feel any emotion towards the elderly man. The heart grew two sizes at last year’s Monty the Penguin ad but it has now shrunk again. Overall, the penguins always win.” – Georgia Simpson, Head of Relations.
“I managed to hold it together right until the end but, yes, I cried. However, that really isn’t saying much. These ads are getting a bit too formulaic for me – I can imagine the focus group boardroom meeting where they discussed which heartstrings they should pull this year. While beautifully produced as ever, and with that last look at the Christmas-y town suitably festive, I can’t help but be left just the teensiest bit disappointed!” – Millie Cassidy, Features Editor.
“I’m always stunned when I’m accused of being cold-hearted because I’m not moved by ads made by a huge corporation for the sole purpose of making people want to buy blenders. You can call me cold-hearted, but I always get skeptical when an emotional cartharsis is followed by a slogan.” – James Slaymaker, writer.
“It’s an advert. Adverts are meant to make me buy things. In this case, they do so by being sentimental and appealing to the heart. The last couple of times they managed to make me feel a little warm and fuzzy for a bit. But now it just feels like they’re trying too hard. If it was a short film I’d maybe be okay with it, but as an advert it just feels exploitative and insincere.” – Harrison Abbott, Culture Editor.
The Verdict: It’s beautifully crafted, and made with the noblest of intentions, but something doesn’t sit right with us. Maybe we’re growing into old cynics… or maybe John Lewis need to switch up their ideas and stop pulling on our withered heartstrings.