Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without retailers bombarding us with their festive fair.
However, when you consider the serious amounts of time and money (£7m for last year's Monty the Penguin) spent on first creating their Christmas campaigns and then on the media time to ensure we see them, many a retailer must be asking themselves, what is it about John Lewis' commercial that makes it must-see TV when it airs?
Having undertaken an analysis of each of their Christmas campaigns since 2007, I believe the answer lies in the perfect combination of brand values, storytelling and music.
First and foremost, John Lewis doesn't try to sell us anything. Instead, they remind us of what it is like to be a kid at Christmas by rekindling the emotions that we felt when we were young.
Their themes of family, sharing and wonderment offer an authentic message distilled and told in one coherent story. This is textbook advertising techniques at their very best.
While the visuals are splendid, the real magic lies in the perfect pitch of audio and visual. Nothing connects faster and deeper to our emotions than music and by using it as an emotional vehicle, it enables the viewer to reconnect with what we all yearn to feel about Christmas.
Other brands also use lyrics to support the narrative of their Christmas story, but John Lewis has taken it to a whole new level. By working with the music industry to produce music that not only works in its own right but adds the right amount of sparkle in a tasteful way, the adverts reflect everything the brand itself has worked to stand for on the high street.
In effect, the music enables us to shortcut the emotional connection to the brand message.
It's interesting to note that M&S dominated this Christmas space for many years producing commercials that pulled out all the stops and locked in on our apparent desire to do the same for our own Christmas celebrations. Think the Pink song – Get The Party Started’ sung by Shirley Bassey and produced in James Bond style.
Perhaps we are just too tired of an overly commercial Christmas and John Lewis has recognised this and tapped in to what it means to spend Christmas with the people we love.
And so to this year's effort. We say bravo John Lewis. The #Manonthemoon campaign hits all the right notes.
The retailer’s tried and test formula returns but tweaked brilliantly to up the ante and keep it fresh. This year it’s less about John Lewis the store and more John Lewis the socially aware company. Violins join the piano to tug on the heartstrings to really sell the message of thinking about other people.