The definitive ranking of the best John Lewis Christmas adverts of all time

With 2018's John Lewis Christmas ad due to air on TV this Friday, we have a guess at what could feature and look at our top favourites

The John Lewis Christmas advert for 2018 is due to hit screens this Thursday at 8am - and it's as eagerly anticipated as the big man in red! With John Lewis holding the entire nation with waited breathe for this year's notorious Christmas advert, we join the internet mill in guessing what it could be...

smiling kid with penguin

(Image credit: TBC)

With owls featuring heavily in store and previews we've seen, could this whimsical bird follow in the success of Monty the Penguin's footsteps? Equally, the 10-second teaser that featured on Sunday night's TV featured a moon with #OnTheMoon embellished across it.

Over the past few years, John Lewis has celebrated Christmas through gift-giving and love receiving. Featuring an iconic song sung by a modern artist and various animals, children and snowmen, we're surely in for another treat yet again this year.

Here are our favourites from the past five year - in ranking order.

No arguments!

Monty the Penguin (2014)

At number 1, our favourite John Lewis campaign was last year's Monty the Penguin. Young owner, Sam, has a football, sledging and tree decorating companion in his trusty sidekick and truly adorable stuffed-toy penguin Monty. However, on the run up to Christmas, Monty is missing some love so Sam gifts him a fellow penguin partner on Christmas morning. We love the symbol of love and giving, and clearly everyone else did with penguin toy sales increasing by 300%.

The Long Wait (2011)

2011's successful campaign has racked up 5.2m views on YouTube alone. The 90-second clip sees a brilliant young boy agitated during the countdown to Christmas. From anxiously tapping feet and fingers to wishing away time, he appears to be waiting for the timely arrival of Father Christmas. Come the special morning however, he runs straight past his stuffed stocking and to the present he gifts his parents. The message that Christmas is all about giving runs clear.

The Bear and the Hare (2013)

Promoting an unlikely friendship, this animated advert features Lily Allen's cover of Keane's ‘Somewhere Only We Know'. The hare celebrates the run up to Christmas with the rest of the animal kingdom - decorating the tree and wrapping presents - but the bear is reluctant and distances himself in his cave. Come Christmas day he finds a present that prompts him to spend Christmas amongst friends. The message reads ‘give someone a Christmas they'll never forget' and is the retailer's most popular campaign to date.

Snowman (2012)

Love is at the centre of this ad, which broke's £800m sales mark in 2012. A lonely snowman climbs hills, navigates herds of sheep, and crosses treacherous rivers to make it to John Lewis to buy his loved one a warming gift of gloves and a scarf. ‘The Power of love' by Gabrielle Aplin sounds in the background with the prominent message - to give a little more this Christmas and make love your goal.

Childhood Christmas (2009)

Adam & Eve, the marketing mastermind behind many of John Lewis' Christmas campaigns, made their debut with this £5m ad. The nostalgic clip sees children instead of adults opening coffee machines, slippers and laptops in a bid to bring the child out of the adult at Christmas time. Everyone remembers how magical Christmas was as a child and truth is, the excitement of present giving and receiving has scarcely changed.

Rocking Horse

To Ellie Goulding's soft version of Elton John's ‘Your Song', this advert sees parents sneaking in rocking horses, a mother storing gifts in the attic and loved-ones attempting to wrap candelabras and teapots. The 60-second clip has received just short of a million hits on YouTube and celebrates gift giving over gift receiving, ‘for those who care about showing they care'.

Which one is your favourite?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.