The Best John Lewis Ads… And The Worst

5 November 2018, 14:38 | Updated: 5 November 2018, 14:56

John Lewis 2017 Christmas Ad
John Lewis 2017 Christmas Ad. Picture: John Lewis/YouTube

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 is due on your TV screens any day now, and 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.

Plenty of people are forecasting what the theme will be and which famous tune will be covered - Twitter has been going into meltdown with speculation and people think they’ve spotted what appears to be a teaser campaign.

So, before 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.