Ah, John Lewis. You once got it so right. However, this year, the reigning champion of adverts has (once again) divided customers with its latest film “An Unexpected Guest”. The ad sees a very sweet kid discover a wide-eyed alien in the forest, who he eventually falls in love with and teaches how to eat a mince pie. After fixing its UFO, the alien leaves the planet and the boy is on the verge of tears — because what’s Christmas without a heartbroken child? Cute but ever so slightly predictable.

The annual marker that the festive season has officially begun – the John Lewis Christmas ad – has landed a week early.

John Lewis, like many others, has taken the decision to launch its Christmas advert earlier than usual this year to meet growing consumer demand for an early festive period. Its 2021 spot, ‘Unexpected Guest’, is all about ‘joy’, ‘escapism’ and taking time to savor the ‘moments of Christmas’, according to its customer director.

Created in partnership with long-term ad agency , the two-minute film charts the fleeting friendship of 14-year-old Nathan and space traveler Skye. The ad sees Nathan introduce Skye to key Christmas traditions, like sharing a mince pie, watching films and playing in the snow. Nathan’s parting gift as Skye returns to her home planet is his light-up Christmas jumper.

Smuggler is the production company behind the project, with Ewen Brown serving as producer alongside Mark Molloy who directed.

The music behind John Lewis’s Xmas ads has become just as anticipated as the films themselves, and this year it is 20-year-old South Londoner Lola Young who takes the helm with a cover of Together in Electric Dreams by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder, which was first released in 1984.