The big festive countdown is on. And by our reckoning, there are only three days to go until… the new John Lewis Christmas advert arrives.
Yes, you know that despite there being more than six weeks until the actual big day, the first sign that we are truly entering the season of goodwill is when the store’s schmaltzy animation, soundtracked by a whispered version of a popular chart, hits our TV screens and gives the ok to go into a frenzy of spending.
But hundreds of thousands of people have already had their heartstrings inadvertently tugged by an A Level student’s ‘spoof’ version. The 75 second clip shared by Youtube user Nick Jablonka tells the tale of a snowman inside a snow globe, who spots a real snowman outside. The pair then start to imagine what it would be like to spend Christmas together.
Making the point that the film was not made by a multi-million pound campaign but rather as part of a A2 AQA Media Coursework, Jablonka said: “My chosen essay was on John Lewis and how successful their marketing campaign has become.
“Along with the essay I had to create a linked production piece, and this was my attempt on creating a John Lewis style advert.”
Describing the clip, produced in Cinema 4D and After Effects in under two weeks, as “very rushed”, he added: “As far as I remember I think it got full marks.”
The video is approaching half a million views.
As for the actual John Lewis advert, speculation is rife as to what they will come up with this year. Talking to the i, Danny Rogers of Brand Republic predicted that it will find its way out on Thursday morning.
Citing celebrity deaths and terrorist atrocities along with Brexit and the US elections, Rogers said: “John Lewis will surely adopt a more joyful theme. It will attempt to interpret Christmas as a unified celebration.”
Last year’s ‘Man On The Moon’ was particularly downbeat, although it was designed to help charity Age UK.
But for this year’s effort the company have turned again to Dougal Wilson. He was responsible for The Long Wait, in 2011 - which saw a young boy counting down the days until Christmas - so he could give his parents their present
He also directed The Journey in 2012 - where a snowman embarks on a search for a scarf to keep his girlfriend warm - as well as Monty The Penguin in 2014.
This year’s ‘theme’ is still closely under wraps, and speculation is rife. Perhaps the most likely - assuming that the estate of AA Milne can be persuaded - may be Winnie the Poo, who is celebrating his 90th birthday this year.
As much a subject of debate is the music which will soundtrack the advert, given that it could provide the Xmas number 1. Accompanying Nick’s piece is as ever, a slowed-down cover of an old hit single - on this occasion, a version of the 1978 Genesis hit single ‘Follow You Follow Me’, by Canadian act Vapor ft Adaline.
But despite Phil Collins recently coming out of retirement, a sentimental British public might be more likely to sway towards a recently departed singer - like Prince, or as Star Trek actor Simon Pegg suggested: “What's the betting the John Lewis Christmas ad this year features a plinky plonky piano version of a Bowie song, with hushed lyrics.”
But will it better than Nick Jablonka’s massively popular ‘spoof’? As one Youtube user commented: “Bravo. Let's hope they use this 'officially'!”.