The best John Lewis ads… and the worst
18 November 2018, 08:00 | Updated: 18 November 2018, 08:01
As the nation waits for the annual dose of festive cheer from the department store, let’s look back at the big tunes that have featured in previous years…
The 2018 John Lewis Christmas Advert features Elton John as seen through the ages, thanks to the magical gift of a piano. The annual unveiling of heart-string-tugging festive cheer has become as much a seasonal tradition as carols, turkey and having a whacking great tree in your front room.
So, as we get set for Christmas 2018, let’s look back at the previous entries. Which ads got the mix of tune and visuals right? And which ones are we struggling to remember? Here are the best to worst...
2017: Elbow - Golden Slumbers
Hey, even monsters like Christmas, too. Guy Garvey and co take on an emotional Beatles track and the overall effect is quite sweet.
2015: Aurora - Half The World Away
The Oasis b-side immortalised as the theme to TV’s The Royle Family gets a makeover. The advert looks like a lost scene from The Mighty Boosh, featuring an old man on the moon who doesn’t look like he’s getting any pressies this year.
2012: Gabrielle Alpin - The Power Of Love
This snowman-based travelogue is backed by a nice cover of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood Christmas classic. Nice sentiment, lovely song.
2011: Slow Moving Millie - Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
Little boy can’t wait for Christmas, soundtracked by a piano cover of Morrissey’s plea for self-gratification. Hard to mess up a Johnny Marr tune and we’ve all been excited for Chrimbo haven’t we? Lovely stuff.
2009: Taken By Trees - Sweet Child O’ Mine
An OK cover of the GN’R classic by Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman. The idea behind the ad was pretty funny too.
2013: Lily Allen - Somewhere Only We Know
The singer covers the Keane favourite with surprisingly effective results. The visuals left people bemused, though. Animals don’t have Christmas! Do they?
2014: Tom Odell - Real Love
Penguin and boy get together as the floppy-haired piano player covers a pretty obscure John Lennon demo that was later tinkered with by the surviving Beatles.
2007: Prokofiev - Morning Serenade from Romeo and Juliet
Before the John Lewis ads really hit their stride, the original commercial used this classical piece as a backdrop for some shadow-based fun. A nice tune, but we want breathy acoustic covers of classic bangers, come on.
2008: Anon - From Me To You
A low-fi version of a sprightly Beatles tune, but a bit too cute for our taste. Recorded by John Lewis employees, apparently, and the first appearance of the now-familiar cover version.
2010: Ellie Goulding - Your Song
A solo piano cover of a song that was already a solo piano performance. COME ON, ELLIE. The ad wasn’t that memorable, either. What would Sir Elton say?
2016: Vaults - One Day I’ll Fly Away
Did you buy one of the soft toys? This cover of Randy Crawford’s 1980 mega-ballad seems like an odd fit.
But are any of them as good as Chris Moyles' prank John Lewis ad...?