John Lewis has long been considered the one to beat in the Christmas advert game. Its 10-year legacy of big budget, high production and overwhelmingly emotional campaigns has become as prominent a fixture of the festive season as advent calendars, tinsel and obligatory boxes of Celebrations.
As per usual, when word of this year's feature started doing the rounds, there was unabashed excitement. "Pull on my heartstrings, make me cry and remind me of the real meaning of Christmas!" the internet (ahem, I) cried, eager for a new soul-stirring tale of Great Britain's great people making friends with cute animals under the warm glow of fairy lights. But when the retailer finally released its advert for Christmas 2018 today, the internet was very underwhelmed.
This year's ad stars international superstar, Elton John. The song of choice? You guessed it – "Your Song", the same song that featured in the brand's 2010 campaign, only with Ellie Goulding's vocals instead.
The narrative is pretty straightforward and saccharine, as expected. It chronicles the singer's life and career in reverse, starting with him sat at home playing the piano in present day, rewinding through key musical moments in his earlier life, taking us all the way back to when Elton received his grandmother's piano for Christmas as a child, thus triggering his wildly successful love affair with music.
"Some gifts are more than just a gift" is this year's tagline of choice, however many felt the sentiment was overshadowed by the fact that Elton has a tour he is currently promoting and his biopic Rocket Man is also on the way. So, yes, the advert feels more like a promotion for Elton John's upcoming ventures, rather than a promotion of good tidings (or even John Lewis for that matter, which, as some Twitter users pointed out, doesn't even sell pianos at the moment).
"The John Lewis advert is basically one big plug for Elton John (whose concert tickets go on sale today too). They don't even sell pianos!" observed one Twitter user. Another complained: "Sorry John Lewis but we all wanted another cute character not Elton John's life story."
The internet has spoken and it seems to see through the convenient coincidence of Elton John taking centre stage in what many of us consider the first sign of Christmas. Sorry JL, but Twitter isn't having it. Watch the full advert below to see why: