It’s the announcement we Brits look forward to every year in the festive calendar – this release of the John Lewis Christmas advert.

In this year’s Christmas campaign, called Unexpected Guest, we follow 14-year-old Nathan who discovers that space traveller Skye has crash-landed in the woods near his home, just before the height of the festive season.

Upon meeting each other, the pair strike up a heart-warming friendship, as Nathan teaches Skye about different Christmas traditions such as eating mince pies, decorating the tree and sporting novelty jumpers (Confusing concepts if, like Skye, you don’t know what Christmas is).

Each year, there is just as much anticipation surrounding the song choice as there is for the actual advert and, for 2021, 20-year-old London singer and songwriter Lola Young performs a cover of Together In Electric Dreams. This song was originally released by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder in 1984.

You may also be thinking that the release feels a little early for the retailer, and you would be correct. The release of the ad was pushed forward to a fortnight earlier than usual, with the retailer claiming that Christmas-related searches on its website are up 50 per cent on this time last year.

With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that John Lewis is currently trending on Twitter as viewers share their initial thoughts on the festive feel-good advert. Here’s a flavour of what viewers are saying:

Others say the release of this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad means that the festive season has well and truly kicked off.

There were also plenty of comparisons between the advert’s storyline and other alien sci-fi films and TV shows.

One of them was the 70s TV series Boy from Space which includes “a strange blue alien boy” named Peep-Peep who befriends two human siblings.

Another comparison was to the 1982 classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial where an alien crash lands on Earth and is saved by young Elliot who decides to hide him before the pair strike up a friendship.

Sci-fi Netflix series Stranger Things was also another series that people were saying the advert was similar to, as schoolboy Mike hides Eleven, a young girl with telepathic and psychokinetic abilities, after she escapes from Hawkins Laboratory, where experiments were being performed on her.

However, the John Lewis ad has faced criticism for its apparently bad climate change messaging, particularly considering the COP26 climate conference is currently taking place.

Viewers also shared their reaction to this year’s John Lewis Christmas song, and many loved Lola Young’s cover of Together In Electric Dreams.

Though some pointed out that the song was first performed by Sheffield band The Human League, and found it ironic that the retailer chose this song after closing their Sheffield store earlier this year.

This advert marks a return to the retailer’s typical style after they “deviated slightly” last year from the style of previous adverts due to the backdrop of Covid-19 with nine different vignettes showing acts of kindness.

John Lewis customer director Claire Pointon said: “There is nothing more magical than discovering the joy of Christmas for the first time and enjoying your favourite festive moments with loved ones.

“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.”

With the John Lewis ad officially dropping, the real question is, can we put our Christmas decks up?

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