It’s that time of year when TV adverts start turning more festive and John Lewis is often the most highly anticipated Christmas ads of the year.
Known for the heartfelt plots and emotional musical scores, John Lewis has pulled out all the stops for its Christmas ads for the last several years now.
In fact, back in 2003, John Lewis broke the record for the biggest seasonal ad spend ever with the £6 million budget.
Here’s what you can expect from the John Lewis Christmas ad this year and when you can see it on your TV screen for the first time.
What is the John Lewis Christmas ad about this year?
The John Lewis Christmas ad for 2021 tells the story of a young alien experiencing her first Christmas.
Titled “Unexpected Guest”, the two-minute ad sees space traveller Skye crash-land in the woods near the home of 14-year-old Nathan as he and his family celebrate Christmas
Nathan introduces Skye to all the familiar festive traditions, including eating mince pies, decorating the tree, and, to her slight confusion, wearing novelty Christmas jumpers.
John Lewis shoppers will also be able to buy matching sweaters, although without the lights from the Christmas ad, for between £14 and £29 depending on the size, with 10% of the profits going to the charities FareShare and Home-Start UK.
“There is nothing more magical than discovering the joy of Christmas for the first time and enjoying your favourite festive moments with loved ones,” said John Lewis customer director Claire Pointon. “After the last 18 months, we wanted our advert to really celebrate this as we look forward to a brighter future.
“We know our customers are excited for this festive season more than ever, as they reconnect with family and friends. Through the story of Skye and Nathan, we celebrate friendship and are reminded of the joy of experiencing Christmas for the first time.”
Who sings the John Lewis Christmas Ad 2021?
The 2021 soundtrack was created by 20-year-old London singer and songwriter Lola Young, who performs a cover of Together In Electric Dreams to accompany Unexpected Guest, originally released by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder in 1984.
Miss Young began to write songs aged 11 and by 13 had competed in and won a national open mic competition, and cites Joni Mitchell and Prince as early influences.
She enrolled at the arts-focused Brit School in Croydon, south London, joining musical stars like Adele and Amy Winehouse in the alumni ranks.
Her catalogue so far includes the single Woman, her debut seven-track release titled Intro and the Renaissance EP.
When can I watch the John Lewis Christmas ad 2021?
You’ll be able to watch the ad roughly a fortnight earlier than in previous years, with Unexpected Guest airing at 8.15pm on Thursday on ITV during The Pride of Britain Awards.
It will also launch at 6.30am for members of the ‘My John Lewis’ loyalty scheme via email access and from 8am on the retailer’s website and social media channels.