John Lewis Christmas advert 2020 is unveiled

The eagerly-awaited John Lewis Christmas commercial has become something of a festive tradition.

Every year, fans gather in front of their TVs to watch the latest offering, before sharing it with their friends and family and – in recent years – broadcasting their opinions online.

The John Lewis ads started in 2007 and here you can revisit every single one.


Last year’s offering starred an excitable and accident-prone dragon called Edgar who lives in a freezing mythical village with his red-headed best friend Ava.

In the heart-warming and funny ad the pair try were forced to quell his disastrous fire-breathing after it threatened to destroy the festive period for everyone as a giant Christmas tree was flamed, a snowman was destroyed and the local ice rink melted.

It marks the first time the department store joined with sister brand Waitrose for a festive commercial. After a mixed response to the 2018 ad, which featured Elton John and charted his rise from childhood, the new ad seemed to be a return to formula.

2018 – The Boy And The Piano 

The retailer ended a decade of heart-warming tearjerkers featuring loveable animals and charming children last year when it featured Sir Elton John in its Christmas ad. 

It charted the singer’s rise from humble beginnings to fame and fortune. 

The mini-biopic, set to his 1970 hit Your Song, showed how one present can change a life and ended with a four-year-old Elton unwrapping his first piano on Christmas Day in 1951. 

The £7million advert then cutsto the emotional 71-year-old playing the same instrument while thinking about his mother Sheila, who died in 2017 aged 92, followed by the slogan: ‘Some gifts are more than just a gift’. 

However, it was panned by some who thought that it focused more on the singer than on Christmas. 

Some fans were also disappointed that cuddly stars such as Montie the penguin and Moz the monster were jettisoned for a celebrity-endorsed campaign. 

2017 – Moz The Monster

2017’s effort featured the story of a boy who befriends the monster under his bed, with the music a cover of The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers by rock band Elbow.

It left viewers in tears over the mischievous and flatulent monster called Moz and his relationship with a seven-year-old soulmate – with fans comparing it to Disney’s much-loved Monsters Inc.

The giant furry monster with a bulbous nose, wonky teeth and a love of snoring, jumped out from under the bed every night to play with companion Joe in a festive tale making many laugh and cry.

The little boy, aged 7, who is played by young twin brothers from London named Ethan and Tobias, is initially frightened after seeing a pair of enormous eyes peering from the dark under his bed.

But the two unlikely friends are shown sharing games, playing piggyback and Scalextric in his bedroom – all without mum, dad, or older sister finding out. 

2016 – Buster The Boxer

Buster the Boxer and his trampoline antics was the star of the 2016 edition.

John Lewis said the advert where the dog, played by five-year-old Biff, beats a young girl to her new toy was their attempt to cheer up Britain after a ‘tough year’.

The advert told the story of a little girl called Bridget who loves to jump.

Set to a cover version of ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’, her mother and father buy her a trampoline, toiling while she sleeps to build it before hiding it in the garden to surprise her with on Christmas Day. As the snow falls an array of animals start using it as the Boxer watches forlornly through the window.

The next morning Bridget sprints out to use it for the first time but her joy turns to shock as cheeky Buster has the last laugh and uses her new toy before her.

2015 – Man On The Moon

In 2015, a lonely Man on the Moon is shown to viewers sitting by himself on a bench, completely unaware that he is being observed by the youngster back down on Earth

The elderly man, played by a 77-year-old French actor called Jean, gazes up wistfully towards the Earth, as the Oasis song Half The World Away, performed by 19-year-old Norwegian singer Aurora plays mournfully in the background.

She tries desperately to send him a message but all her efforts fail, while he remains unaware that anyone cares about him and sits alone on a bench, wistfully staring up at the Earth.

Eventually, on Christmas morning, a present arrives from the sky, carried by party balloons, and the old man unwraps it to reveal a vintage telescope.

He uses it to spot Lily and, realising that someone cares about him, his eyes fill with tears.

2014 – Monty The Penguin

In 2014, John Lewis hoped the bond between a boy and a penguin would capture the public’s imagination.

The two-minute festive commercial told the story of seven-year-old Sam, played by actor Rhys Edwards from Hertfordshire, and his friend Monty.

The boy gradually realises Monty is longing for a penguin companion. And so on Christmas morning Sam surprises Monty with the gift of a new penguin friend named Mabel.

The soundtrack was John Lennon’s song Real Love, performed by Tom Odell.

2013 – The Bear And The Hare

In 2013, the £7million Disney-inspired advert told the story of a selfless hare who is determined to make sure his best friend, a bear, doesn’t miss Christmas for once.

The commercial features the tale of two good friends, a bear and a hare, who are sad at the thought of being separated for Christmas.

The tale opens as winter is starting to draw in and the fun and excitement of preparing for Christmas begins.

As the first snowflake falls and lands on the bear’s nose, the hare starts to feel sad because he realises his friend will soon go off to hibernate, so – as usual – missing Christmas.

While the bear is keen to join in, eventually he finds he cannot hold off his winter sleep any longer and disappears into his cave.

Viewers see the bear fast asleep while all the other woodland creatures become excited about the big day to come.

However, the hare is missing his friend and finds it increasingly difficult to join in the preparations until the moment he has a great idea for a very special present.

He disappears off in to the wilderness to return with the gift – an alarm clock – which wakes the bear just in time to gather around a beautifully decorated tree to celebrate with all his friends.

2012 – The Journey

The Christmas ad from 2012, called The Journey, shows the extraordinary lengths to which some will go in their search for a gift for someone they love.

The 90-second commercial opens in a family’s snow-covered garden, with children happily making a snowman and snowwoman.

When the snowman mysteriously disappears the next morning, the viewer is transported to a magical world, following him on an epic journey across river, mountain, road and city.

The motive for the snowman’s secret journey isn’t revealed until the last scene, when he returns on Christmas morning with gifts for his wife. 

Gabrielle Aplin sings The Power Of Love, the 1984 hit from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, as the soundtrack. 

2011 – The Long Wait

In 2011, the John Lewis advert showed a young boy desperately excited about Christmas.

He eagerly counts down the days to December 25 with viewers left to imagine he is looking forward to getting presents. 

However, it is revealed at the end that he actually couldn’t wait to give presents to his parents.

It was accompanied by a cover of The Smiths’ Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’.

2010 – A Tribute To Givers

The 2010 offering saw individuals choosing and wrapping their presents in the lead up to the big day, as Ellie Goulding sings a cover of Elton John’s Your Song.

Various people furtively hide the presents they’ve carefully chosen.

Parents sneak a rocking horse upstairs while their children’s backs are turned; a mechanic struggles to wrap a spotted teapot; and a small boy braves the snow in his dressing gown to hang a stocking outside his dog’s kennel.

2009 – Sweet Child O’ Mine 

2009 was the first of the store’s Christmas campaigns created by advertising agency Adam & Eve.

It was also the first to feature a musical cover by a current artist, on this occasion a Taken By Trees version of Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses.

The ad shows children opening gifts for adults including a laptop, coffee machine and handbag.

It’s followed by the tagline: ‘Remember how Christmas used to feel? Give someone that feeling.’

2008 – From Me To You 

Culminating in the tagline: ‘If you know the person, you’ll find the present,’ the 2008 version shows a succession of characters followed by a matching gift.

The soundtrack is a cover of The Beatles’ From Me To You recorded for the campaign.

It included vocals by Matt Spinner, a member of the John Lewis IT department and its music society.

2007 – Shadows 

The first John Lewis Christmas ad shows a group of people stacking a pile of potential gifts including a desktop lamp, a computer and a leather satchel in an empty room. 

The finished product ends up creating a shadow that looks like a woman walking her dog through the snow.

It is accompanied by the tagline: ‘Whoever you’re looking for this Christmas.’