In Depth

Is John Lewis’s 2018 Christmas ad one of the best ever?

Touching Elton John tribute is department store’s latest festive ad campaign

John Lewis has released its highly anticipated 218 Christmas advert, which features a performance from Elton John.

The two-minute-20-second ad follows the singer-songwriter through various phrases of his five-decade career, accompanied by the strains of his 1970 breakthrough hit Your Song.

The clip ends with a fictionalised scene of a young Elton – real name Reg Dwight – receiving his first piano as a Christmas present, before cutting to the present-day John closing his piano as screen text tells us: “Some gifts are more than a gift.”

John Lewis released its first Christmas ad in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2011 that the store hit on its winning formula with The Long Wait, a heart-warming tale of a boy’s eagerness for Christmas in order to give rather than receive presents.

Since then, the retailer’s creative, emotional Christmas adverts have become a festive milestone - and the newest addition does not disappoint, according to an overwhelmingly positive response on social media.

But how does #EltonJohnLewis compare with past Christmas classics? Here are a few festive adverts which have lived on in popular memory years after they aired:

Yellow Pages

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The classic Yellow Pages mistletoe advert first aired in 1992 and has since been updated with a more modern directory cover. It features a little boy who isn't quite tall enough to kiss a girl under the mistletoe – until he grabs the Yellow Pages.

Coca Cola

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For many, the festive season just hasn't started until they see the red Christmas trucks on Coca Cola's Holidays are Coming advert. The trucks first appeared in 1995 and the drinks company has continued to release adverts on a similar theme ever since.

Andrex

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Slade provided the song for this 1992 advert, but it is no doubt the puppy bounding around in the snow that made this Andrex campaign a classic.

John Lewis – The Long Wait

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"2011 was the year that John Lewis went epic," says Marketing Magazine. The Long Wait starred a little boy counting down the days to Christmas so that he could give his parents a present. The retailer saw a 9.3 per cent rise in seasonal sales compared to the previous year and the clip was watched by 6.2 million people on YouTube.

Irn Bru

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In 2006, Irn Bru parodied one of the world's best-loved Christmas stories: The Snowman. The lyrics were adapted to tell the tale of a sticky-fingered snowman out to steal a young boy's Irn Bru.

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