The John Lewis Christmas 2015 Ad Has Finally Landed

The most hotly-anticipated UK ad of the year has just launched online. 

There’s been rumours for weeks, but now the wait is over. John Lewis ads have charmed audiences around the world and effectively turned the holiday season into the Super Bowl of the U.K. If you’re not on the invite list for their movie like premiere at their flagship London store than the below should fill your festive boots.

Let the race to win Christmas begin.

For all the weeks of ad land speculation concerning John Lewis’ latest campaign, the retailer has once again managed to surprise, opting for a concept of greater magnitude than ever before. ‘#ManOnTheMoon’ may be one small step for John Lewis, but it’s one giant leap for Christmas advertising ambitions.

Let’s start with the story. ‘#ManOnTheMoon’ begins with a young girl, newly gifted a telescope, discovering to her surprise that a little old man lives on the surface of the moon. This is in line with the brand’s previous magical realist tendencies, such as a young boy co-habiting with a cheery penguin. In any case, as the months and weeks pass, our young heroine continues to follow the moon-dweller’s movements, and learns how lonely life can be in a crater.

As Christmas approaches, the girl conspires to let the old man feel the festive cheer. This includes an adorable sequence in which she ineffectually shoots arrows and throws paper planes into the night sky. Finally, as the world gathers to open their presents and the moon man sits down for another lonely Christmas, the girl’s present arrives attached to a bunch of balloons. The gift? A telescope, so he can look back at the Earth and take part in the seasonal cheer.

Pretty sweet, right? While the new spot is certainly a departure from John Lewis’ previous ads (there are no animated characters to be seen), it has the charming feel of the familiar. In fact, let us be the first to say that ‘#ManOnTheMoon’ is clearly Pixar’s ‘Up’ by way of ‘The Martian’ – a pretty winning combination, in our opinion. Throw in a mournful acoustic cover of Oasis’ ‘Half A World Away’ and we’re pretty much sold.

Of course, the real test of a Christmas campaign is audience enthusiasm. It’s true of all advertising, but particularly festive spots, that emotional appeal trumps creative appeal when it comes to ads sharing widely across the social web. While ‘#ManOnTheMoon’ certainly has creative vision and stunning production value, the ad’s core message is one of warmth, nostalgia and family – all triggers which are conducive to sharing at this time of year. There’s the potential that the new spot’s lack of a fluffy lead in Monty or The Bear may hinder its chances, but as far as human-based emotional hooks, John Lewis seem to have pulled it off again.

Now the question is: can John Lewis’s lonely astronaut beat out the competition to make the brand top of the Christmas season once more?