Exploring the emotional impact of the John Lewis Christmas advert for 2018

Posted by
Susan Devaney

The John Lewis Christmas advert for 2018 has finally arrived and it’s making people happy. 

It’s November which means Christmas adverts for 2018 have already started to roll in: Heathrow Airport has brought Doris and Edward Bair back into our lives and Sainsbury’s has given us a nativity play to remember (and a new love of plugs).

But the one we’ve all been waiting for has finally dropped: John Lewis.

Every year, the department store never fails to give us all the Christmassy feels. Think: loveable Moz the monster under the bed in 2017, and Buster the dog on the trampoline in 2016.

For 2018, enter: the boy and the piano.

Starring the one and only Sir Elton John, the two-minute clip charts Elton’s career success after receiving a Christmas gift that changed his life: a piano. From nervously playing at a school recital to entertaining a crowd at a pub gig in London, it’s a powerful portrayal of how much one present can really mean to someone.

Set to Elton’s first major hit Your Song, the advert beautifully creates the moment when a young Reginald Dwight (Elton’s real name) – who was growing up under the watchful eye of his mother and grandmother in London – unwraps a piano on Christmas Day. 

“Think back to all of the Christmases that you have enjoyed over the years – I’m sure there is one very special gift that stands out above all others,” said Craig Inglis, partner and customer director.

“That’s the magical feeling we wanted to bring to life this year. The ad tells the story of why Elton’s piano was more than just a gift and we hope to remind customers of that special moment when they’ve given a gift at Christmas time that they know will be treasured forever.”

It’s true: many of us have one gift we fondly remember from our childhood. 

“The John Lewis Christmas campaign has so many warm memories for me and my family,” said Sir Elton John. “It’s been a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my life in music and the incredible journey I have been on, and how first playing my Grandmother’s piano marks the moment when music came into my life.”

The most heart-warming part of the advert’s release is how much it has affected people in the run up to Christmas Day. Indeed, many have taken to Twitter to share their emotional reactions – as well as a story about a gift they truly love:

If a Christmas advert makes us feel good then roll on more of them, please. 

Images: John Lewis 

For one day only on Thursday 15 November, Katie Piper has taken over as part of The Kindfulness Project, packing the site with articles on what she’s learned about empathy and the importance of self-care..

For similarly inspiring and uplifting content, check out Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People, available on Apple Podcasts now.


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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