The advert is often hailed as marking the start of the festive season, with tear-jerkers of year’s past including Excitable Edgar the dragon, and a snowman falling in love.
This year was different as the brand made changes to reflect the tough year the world has just experienced, and the advert was said to be inspired by the British public’s response to the pandemic.
The advert begins with a young boy whose football is stuck in a tree.
A friend steps in to help him, which sparks further acts of kindness, with each clip switching between live action and various styles of animation.
The advert ends with the message ‘Give A Little Love’ written in the sky with smoke the smoke plumes from a World War II spitfire, in a homage to Captain Tom Moore.
Many disappointed viewers took to Twitter to say they thought the advert was the brand’s “worst yet”.
Several people wondered if 2020 had simply left them dead inside and that is why they were not moved to tears.
One complained: “It's 2020, a really tough year and John Lewis have just given us their worst Christmas advert to date. #johnlewischristmasadvert “.
A third added: “gonna be miserable af and say that's probably my least favourite #johnlewischristmasadvert :c I liked the meaning but it wasn't very christmassy”.
“What is going on with the #johnlewischristmasadvert ? MAYBE I'm missing something BUT It's so depressing and not in the slightest bit festive!!” wondered another.
Another viewer remarked: “I mean it’s ok…but didn’t give me the teary reaction I normally get! Has 2020 given me a stone heart?”
But others gushed over how much they loved the advert, with one writing: “Oh this is seriously something we need to be seeing right now. Thank you @jlandpartners for making my heart smile and my eyes leak #GiveALittleLove “.
“Oh this is just lovely. Simple. A simple message that sits at the heart of the true meaning of Christmas. Well done JL. Happy Christmas,” penned another.
A third added: “Not ashamed to say most years John Lewis Christmas adverts make me cry and this year is no exception!!
“Just what we all need this year to give a little love and kindness.”
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