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10th Nov 2016

The new John Lewis Xmas ad is here and it’s very different from any that have come before

The retailer has ditched the lump-in-your-throat approach

Mike Wright

The John Lewis Christmas Advert has finally landed.

And whether it’s the highlight of your Christmas build-up or something you couldn’t give a reindeer’s left one about, it’s now a national event.

There’s no escaping it. It WILL be played ad nauseam and it WILL come up endlessly in small talk. We all just have to deal with that.

However, this year John Lewis has ditched their usual tactic of trying to make the nation sob uncontrollably into our sofa cushions and gone for a very different approach: Humour.

Or an valiant attempt anyway.

It probably won’t have you uncontrollably evacuating your body of fluid.

But still it’s a definite break with previous years where the retailer has doubled down on the initial method that brought the ads such inexplicable success: Putting a lump in your throat.

This climaxed last year with the Man on the Moon ad, which may have been a wee bit too much on the emotionally heavy side.

So this year they’ve ditched the saccharine plot and plumped for something a bit more feel good – animals.

This year’s ad, which dropped last night, starts with a mum putting her little girl to sleep on Christmas Eve while her dad manfully struggles in the garden to assemble her surprise trampoline.

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First off, the garden is covered in a dusting of snow. As happens every year in Britain, without fail. So that’s instantly relatable.

Once the dad’s completed the fiddly task and is happily ensconced inside watching the box, a couple of foxes emerge and alight on the new toy.

Unlike real-life foxes, who would have probably just rutted noisily together for a bit before defecating all over the trampoline, these much nicer CGI versions decide to have cute bounce-off.

They are then joined by a badger, a hedgehog and a squirrel and they all then engage what can only be described as an Animals of Farthing Wood-style silent rave.

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At which point the hero of our story is introduced – Buster the Boxer. Or to give him his proper name: #BusterTheBoxer.

The dog isn’t actually called #BusterTheBoxer at all. Four-year-old Biff, was handpicked from dozens of other canine hopefuls to take the star role. This was apparently due to his “expressive” face. Presumably, this is the dog-actor version of who gets to be the next Bond.

Anyway, the camera pans in on a somewhat perturbed Buster, who’s clearly narked about being incarcerated indoors while all the other animals are having a top time on the trampoline.

That or he just wants to dart out there and tear the invaders on his territory into bloody shreds. Who really knows what goes on in a dog’s mind?

The ad culminates the next morning when the little girl gleefully runs outside to play with her new present but is beaten to the punch by an ecstatic Buster. The excitable pooch dashes ahead and proceeds to go bananas in only the way a dog on a trampoline can.

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The little girl and her family look on baffled.

Cue hilarity.

And we hope you find it funny, or at least mildly amusing.  If not, by late November, this is really going to start to grate.

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