All 12 John Lewis Christmas adverts ranked and rated

As fans debate online about how good the Elton John life story is, we've ranked every John Lewis Christmas advert from best to worst according to how fans reacted to them at the time.

This year's Christmas advert for the department store stars Elton John and tells the story of why some gifts are more than just a gift.

It spans the veteran singer's life and shows how a gift of a piano from his grandmother helped make him the international superstar he is today.

But fans aren't sure the advert is as good as commercials from previous years, with some saying it's not Christmassy or sentimental enough.

Here we rate and rank every John Lewis advert from its first one ever in 2007 right up to this year's showbiz-inspired film.

1. 2011 – The Long Wait

This was the first year John Lewis used its advert to tell a whole story, and it made the nation weep.

It told the story of a little boy impatiently waiting for Christmas and all because he wants to give a heartfelt gift to his two sleepy parents on Christmas morning.

It was set to Slow Moving Millie's cover of "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths.

This was the film that cemented the department store's reputation as the best Christmas advertiser so we think that has to put it at the top of the list.

2. 2013 – The Bear And The Hare

This was the charming animated tale which tells the story of a bear who has never seen Christmas so his animal friends buy him an alarm clock so he can wake up from hibernation just for the day.

Lily Allen sung a cover of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know.

People went wild for the story at the time and a lot of people on Twitter call it the best John Lewis ad the department store has ever made.

3. 2014 – Monty The Penguin

This was the heartwrenching advert about a little boy and his friend Monty The Penguin who wants to find love at Christmas.

He's revealed to be the boy's stuffed toy – and under the Christmas tree is a girl penguin toy for Monty to fall in love with.

If people don't say The Bear And The Hare is their favourite, they often choose 2014's advert as the John Lewis ad they like the best.

4. 2015 – Man on the Moon

This advert really tugged on people's heartstrings, as it told the story of a little girl who spots a lonely old man living on the moon through her telescope.

She finds a way to float presents over to him on balloons so he can enjoy Christmas Day too as Aurora's cover of Half The World Away plays in the background.

It's one of John Lewis's most sentimental and emotional Christmas adverts and definitely had people crying across the nation.

5. 2012 – The Journey

It's often forgotten but John Lewis's tale of a snowman who travels over mountains and through horrible weather to bring his snow-girlfriend a scarf to keep her warm was very touching.

It was set to a Gabrielle Aplin cover of "The Power of Love" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and had many people shedding tears at the time.

6. 2016 – Buster the Boxer

John Lewis decided to mix it up with Buster The Boxer in 2016 by having a funny advert rather than a gut-wrenching sentimental one.

It told the tale of a dog who loved to bounce on his family's trampoline while they were asleep.

Fans loved it, but some people were left a bit disappointed as they didn't feel like it packed as much of an emotional punch as in previous years.

7. 2017 -Moz the Monster

Last year's advert was about a cuddly blue monster called Moz who befriended a little boy called Joe.

They stayed up together all night every night until Moz realises Joe needs to sleep at night so leaves him a present of a night light under the Christmas tree.

People weren't as fond of Moz as they were of Buster or Monty, but people still found the advert cute.

But John Lewis was accused of stealing the character from an existing children's book.

And it was said to be the least successful campaign John Lewis ran in five years.

8. 2018 – The Boy And The Piano

This year's John Lewis stars Elton John in its most showbiz-inspired advert yet.

Viewers are taken through key moments in his life, including stadium tours, travelling on a private jet, playing at his local pub and performing at a school.

But it's having a mixed reaction on social media, with not everyone loving this year's festive ad.

One Twitter user wrote that she wanted another "cute character" and not Elton John's life story.

For us, it's not up there with the likes of Monty The Penguin, The Long Wait and The Bear & The Hare either.

9. 2010 – A Tribute To Givers

Ellie Goulding recorded a cover version of Elton John's "Your Song" for this advert – the same tune that appears in this year's film.

But it's probably the only thing you remember about this advert, which was about the lengths that people go to to surprise their friends and relatives on Christmas Day.

10. 2009 – Sweet Child O' Mine

This was the first year John Lewis used an acoustic cover of a popular song – Guns N Roses's Sweet Child Of Mine – as the song for their commercial.

It's a sweet advert which shows children opening adult presents such as an e-reader and large slippers, and says at the end: "Remember how Christmas used to feel? Give someone that feeling."

But do you remember it? Neither do we.

11. 2007 – Shadows

In its first Christmas advert, John Lewis showed how people placed products together to create shadows that look like a woman walking her dog through the snow and having a drink at a party.

It was quite memorable but this was before the era that John Lewis adverts created a huge buzz as social media was barely even a thing at this point.

12. 2008 – From Me To You

This was probably the most basic John Lewis advert – and the most boring.

Set to a cover of The Beatles' From Me To You, it showed how you can find the perfect present for different characters in your life.

It ended with the message: "If you know the person, you'll find the present."

Not everyone hates the new John Lewis advert, our Consumer Editor said it reminds him of his mum who died 10 years ago.

People suspected Elton John would star in the advert – particularly after John Lewis stores changed their name to just "John".

Meanwhile cheeky Chris Moyles was behind a prank to fool people with a fake John Lewis teaser trailer.


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