The most wonderful time of the year is almost here and there is one thing guaranteed to get Brits in the mood for mistletoe and wine - the John Lewis Christmas advert.
The retailer usually releases its big budget Christmas campaign around mid November, which has become a fixture of the consumer festive calendar since 2007. The department store first released its Christmas television advert with agency Lowe London that year, before switching to its campaign creators Adam & Eve DDB two years later.
But it's 2011 that is remembered as the year that cemented John Lewis as the king of Christmas advertising, and the department store has faced increasing pressure to deliver bolder and better spots each year since.
In 2017, a young boy and his imaginary monster under the bed, Moz, were the stars of the brand's eagerly anticipated campaign, which marked a return to the tearjerkers of past years following 2016's comedy bouncing dog Buster the boxer. Then, in 2018, the store brought Elton John's life to screens across the nation, which for many became an all-time Christmas-ad favourite.
If you have forgotten which you preferred - from a trampolining dog to a lovelorn penguin - remind yourself of John Lewis' iconic Christmas ads over the years by watching them below.
In its first Christmas advert, John Lewis shows a group of employees placing products – a desktop lamp, a Mac computer, a leather satchel – in a carefully assembled pile. All the items together end up creating a shadow that looks like a woman walking her dog through the snow.
2008: From Me To You
Set to a cover of The Beatles' From Me To You, the 2008 advert showed that John Lewis could help you find the perfect gift for each person in your life. "If you know the person, you'll find the present," the tag line promised. For the sleepy guy: a coffee machine. For the geeky teenager: a chemistry set. For the shaggy dog: a hair dryer.
2009: Sweet Child O' Mine
This was the first year that John Lewis worked with then start-up agency Adam & Eve, which has since been acquired by DDB. The 2009 ad launched the tradition of using current artists to sing acoustic covers of iconic songs, with Taken By Trees' version of Guns N' Roses Sweet Child O' Mine.
The advert shows children opening adults' presents – large slippers, a coffee machine, an e-reader – and says, "Remember how Christmas used to feel? Give someone that feeling."
2010: A Tribute to Givers
Ellie Goulding recorded a cover version of Elton John's 'Your Song' for the 2010 advert, which showed the lengths people go to surprise their loved ones with even the trickiest of Christmas gifts. Two parents sneak a rocking horse upstairs while their children watch television, a man struggles to wrap a pair of candlesticks and a young boy hangs a stocking on his dog's kennel.
"For those who care about showing they care," the advert says.
2011: The Long Wait
The year that made John Lewis' name as the best in Christmas advertising, 2011 was the first time that the retailer used its ad spot to tell a whole story.
Set to Slow Moving Millie's cover of 'Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want' by The Smiths, the ad does not even overtly feature any John Lewis products.
A young boy waits restlessly for Christmas, trying to use magic to make the clock move faster and wolfing down his peas on Christmas Eve so he can go to sleep as soon as possible. The big, heart-wrenching twist is: he's not impatient for his own gifts, he just can't wait to give his parents their present.
2012: The Journey
John Lewis had large shoes to fill – its own – after the runaway success of the 2011 spot. Sticking with the story theme, the advert shows a snowman who braves the elements by climbing high mountains and crossing busy motorways to find his way to a shop (presumably John Lewis) so he can buy his snow-girlfriend a scarf to keep her warm.
The advert is set to a Gabrielle Aplin cover of 'The Power of Love' by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and encourages viewers to "give a little more love this Christmas".
2013: The Bear and the Hare
"There was once an animal who had never seen Christmas," the ad begins, before opening on an animated scene showing a bear walking along with a hare on its back. When the snow falls, the bear finds his way to a cave to hibernate, leaving his hare friend alone for the festive season. Until the hare thinks of the perfect Christmas present for the bear: an alarm clock.
Lily Allen sings a cover of Keane's 'Somewhere Only We Know'.
2014: Monty the Penguin
2014's offering featured a Tom Odell cover of John Lennon's 'Real Love' and stuck with the animal theme that has worked so well for John Lewis over the years. It showed the story of Monty, a penguin who dreams of love at Christmas time.
Monty turns out to be the imaginary character a young boy has built up around his stuffed toy. Under the Christmas tree is a female penguin toy.
2015: Man on the Moon
The department store opted to tug at shopper's heartstrings in 2015 with this infamously sad ad, which told the tale of a young girl who spots a lonely old man on the moon while looking through her telescope.
Norwegian artist Aurora sings a cover of Half the World Away, originally by Oasis, which famously was also used as the theme tune to The Royle Family.
2016: Buster the Boxer
2016's £1m offering featured bouncing dog Buster (played by Biff from Bedfordshire) who found himself unable to resist the lure of a trampoline which he spotted in the garden on Christmas morning. The fun-filled film featured foxes, badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs, who all joined the Boxer dog on the trampoline.
Electronic trio Vaults are the band behind last year's song, which was a cover of Randy Crawford's 1980 single One Day I'll Fly Away.
2017: Moz the Monster
In 2017's ad, monster Moz and little boy Joe strike up a friendship based on a mutual love of late-night Scalextric and piggyback games, but staying awake starts to take its toll on the boy and Moz realises he must allow him some peace and quiet.
Joe finds a clumsily wrapped present of a night light under the tree on Christmas morning, and the ad ends with him hearing the comforting rumblings of his friend when he switches it off that night.
Director Michel Gondry, who won an Oscar as a writer of the film Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and helmed the 1996 Levi's "Drugstore" commercial as well as music videos for Bjork, the White Stripes and the Rolling Stones, said: "When I told my ex-girlfriend I was doing the next John Lewis Christmas film she said, 'You have big shoes to fill, this John Lewis commercial must make people cry, don't forget'. Last week I showed it to her and she cried. Phew."
2018: The Boy and The Piano
Last year's Christmas ad was unequivocally among John Lewis' most iconic. In the two-minute ad, we see Elton John (and four lookalike actors of different ages) at many stages throughout his career – tinkling the ivories on stage, in a pub, in a school recital and, finally, as a little boy receiving his first piano as a Christmas gift. 'Your Song' played throughout.
Reports initially suggested the star was paid as much as £5m to appear in the Christmas ad, but John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis insisted the figure was "wildly inaccurate". The company will not disclose any costs associated with the ad, but a spokesperson for John Lewis did confirm that Elton requested a portion of his fee to be donated to the Elton John Charitable Trust.
Nonetheless, the star-studded stakes are clearly raised for Christmas 2019.
Bonus: She's Always A Woman
Okay, fine, not strictly a Christmas advert. But such a good one. As they say, an advert is for life, not just for Christmas.
Known as the 'red dress' advert, this classic campaign from 2010 follows the life of one woman from birth to old age, going through all of life's stages wearing a red dress.
Tissues at the ready for tears as Fyfe Dangerfield, of the band Guillemots sings Billy Joel's 'Always a woman'. This advert clearly had the intended effect, as John Lewis experienced a 39.7 per cent leap in sales after its release.