John Lewis Christmas advert 2015: Everything you need to know about Man on the Moon, including when it will air online and on TV, who sings the cover song and what it's all about

Catherine Neilan
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The Man on the Moon cost £1m to make, although John Lewis is spending £7m in total

Good news, Christmas fans – the wait is nearly over. No, not for the big day itself, but for the official start of the season that comes with the launch of John Lewis' Christmas ad.

The embargo for the video lifts at 8am today, but before that the department store is allowing a drip feed of pictures and details about the spot to filter out.

The campaign, entitled Man on the Moon, takes a distinctly charitable theme this year, with the department store teaming up with Age UK to fundraise and launching an educational programme to tie in with the ad, which carries the strapline “Show Someone They're Loved This Christmas”.

John Lewis hopes to raise awareness of the million older people who go a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or member of family.

Watch: John Lewis' Christmas advert

The department store has stuck to its formula, with a cover of Oasis’ Half The World Away by “rising music star” Aurora.

The ad was designed by the same agency behind John Lewis' four previous massive hits Adam & Eve. It is directed by Kim Gehrig through Somesuch, with post production at The Mill.

It cost £1m to produce, with the retailer putting aside a further £6m for airtime, the creation of an app and so on.

The app uses augmented reality to bring the moon to life. By pointing the app at the Man on the Moon image – found on posters, shopping bags and click and collect boxes – or by pointing it at the celestial body itself, users will generate an interactive graphic that releases daily facts and animations in the countdown to Christmas Day's full moon.

The app also features a Man on the Moon-themed game in which the player has to avoid obstacles, and collect power ups in a bid to get a chosen object all the way up to the Man on the Moon.

John Lewis has been leading up the big launch for nearly a week, having launched its teaser #OnTheMoon campaign on TV and social media last Sunday. The full ad launches on social media at 8am today and the first TV broadcast will be during tonight's episode of Gogglebox.

Read more: Will sentimentality ad up for John Lewis?

Craig Inglis, customer director at John Lewis said "Our Christmas advert is once again all about going the extra mile to give someone the perfect gift. This year though, the story is told in a uniquely creative and engaging way as we see Lily, our heroine, go to great lengths to connect with the Man on the Moon.

“We hope it inspires people to find really special gifts for their loved ones and through our partnership with Age UK, raises awareness of the issue of loneliness amongst older people and encourages others to support in any way they can.”

Watch the John Lewis 2015 Christmas advert:

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