Life

The real John Lewis gets a hilarious Christmas advert of his own

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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And it’s all because of his genius Twitter feed.

Once upon a time, a man called John Lewis joined Twitter.

He clinched the handle @johnlewis for himself, because that is his name. Lo, the American computer science lecturer began using the social media platform accordingly. But all was not well in Twitter-land. Lewis found himself on the receiving end of thousands - literally, around 50,000 Tweets every year - relating to some other John Lewis and, specifically, this other John Lewis’ Christmas offering.

Lewis looked up his namesake and realised that over here in the UK there is a department store called John Lewis, founded by another John Lewis back in the 19th century. But instead of changing his Twitter handle or ignoring the Tweets not pertaining to himself, Lewis started to respond to the messages in his feed showering praise, offering feedback and demanding customer service. His Tweets became legendary, and he racked up more than 50,000 followers in the process.

And today Lewis graduates to the ultimate in department store-adjacent content: he stars in a Christmas advertisement all of his own.

In the ad, Lewis is seen doing what he does best every Christmas, which is responding to the tens of thousands of messages that find their way into his Twitter feed every festive season, all while accompanied by a soulful caroller. It also features a little knowing wink to some of the department store John Lewis’ adverts of Christmas past. (Did you spot the stuffed penguin beside Lewis’ desk?)

The video, produced by Twitter, is a way of paying a very special thanks to Lewis and the work he does to bring festive joy through his feed. 

And quite right, too, considering Lewis will have his work cut out for him this year. His Twitter feed is surely flooded with messages right now about the 2018 John Lewis Christmas advertisement - slightly higher in production values than the one Twitter produced for Lewis - which features no-one less than Sir Elton John singing his smash-hit Your Song and telling the story of his life in music.

It’s a tearjerker, this one, that ends with a tiny little toddler Reginald Dwight (Elton’s real name) unwrapping a piano on Christmas day under the watchful gaze of his adoring mother.

“The John Lewis Christmas campaign has so many warm memories for me and my family,” the singer said in a statement. “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 advertisement has been a hit on social media, with fans sharing their own stories of the life-changing magic of a Christmas present. 

All we can say is: keep up the good work John Lewis and, uh, John Lewis. And we hope the Lewis over in America likes Elton John music. 

Images: Twitter UK

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