Every year brands, shops and supermarkets battle it out to see who can tug at the hearts of the nation with the most emotional Christmas advert.
We’ve all followed their stories, from homeless Rang-tan featured in this year’s banned Iceland advert, to Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot and the famous Coca-Cola lorry advert, that really does signal that the holidays are coming!
But, there’s no doubt the John Lewis’s Christmas advert has become the festive season’s most highly-anticipated.
Every November the country waits to see what kind of heart-warming tale the leading department store will bring us to tears with. Who didn’t shed a tear when Moz the Monster waved goodbye and disappeared?
But it seems like this year, the leading department store has been overshadowed by a budget Christmas advert made by a freelance filmmaker from Gloucestershire.
Video producer Phil Beastall made a short film and posted it on social media last week. It has since blown up with over one million views on YouTube.
The two-and-a-half minute video shows a young man living alone anxiously counting down the days to Christmas while he goes about his daily life.
On Christmas morning he then opens up a box containing a tape player and 10 cassettes labelled with years.
The tear-jerking film, named Love is a Gift, highlights the fact that at Christmas many people have to deal with being away from their loved ones.
It has been flooded with likes and comments on Twitter and YouTube, with many viewers opening up about experiencing Christmas after having lost their parents, and others simply praising Phil for what an amazing job he did.
Many even compared the £50 video to more mainstream adverts like John Lewis’ £7million extravaganza, saying that it ‘knocks socks off all the expensively produced Christmas TV ads’ and was just ‘pure, raw emotion to tug on the heartstrings’ with no ‘pandering to a pampered pop star’ or emphasis on ‘overpriced and unnecessary gifts’, with some even calling for the high street giant to hire John for next year’s advert.
Speaking to Sky News, Phil, who made the video back in 2014 but reposted it after John Lewis released their 2018 advert, said that even though his parents are both still alive, he can imagine how hard it must be for people dealing with loss at Christmas time and hoped that ‘they can watch it and feel they can cope slightly better this year.’
‘I wanted people to watch it and although initially they might feel sad, I wanted them to reflect on it and perhaps turn to a loved on and give them a cuddle or say ‘I love you’ and reflect on life itself and appreciate just how lucky we are to be here, but the reaction has just been incredible,’ he said.
‘I’ve had thousands of messages from people just telling me they’ve lost loved ones recently and children recently, and it’s just so sad.
‘I’ve tried to respond to all of them because it just means the world to me that people would reach out like that.’
‘It’s just important we look after each other and even if I just say a thank you I don’t want these people to feel that they’re being ignored, especially at this time of year.’