By Sophia Littledale

The Other John Lewis Stars in Twitter’s Christmas Advert


At this time of year, John Lewis causes a social media frenzy when its Christmas advert is released. However, this year there’s been more online buzz than before - all in thanks to the launch of Twitter’s own festive ad that’s related to the other “John Lewis”.


Each year, The US computer science lecturer, John Lewis, receives more than 50k tweets that are meant for the British retailer, but go directly to his own personal account. 


Despite his profile stating that he’s ‘not a retail store’, the now cult hero often replies in good nature with witty responses. The vast majority of these exchanges occur in the build-up to Christmas, particularly about the department store’s seasonal advert. 


To highlight this humorous story, Twitter teamed up with the other John Lewis, and the department store, with a tongue-in-cheek parody playing on a case of mistaken identity. The music, lighting and tone are all consistent with the department store’s past ads, and the campaign was entitled #NotaRetailStore, as a nod to Lewis’ bio. 

Needless to say, it’s taken the Twittersphere by storm. You can see the full Ad, here.

However, it’s the knock-on effect that this campaign which really makes it a success. Elton John himself, start of this year’s John Lewis retail campaign, has got in the act, by celebrating the lecturer’s fanboy tweet. 


This saw a surge of responses from followers campaigning for John Lewis to receive an Elton-themed Christmas present. John Lewis (the retailer) got in on the act and not only thanked him for his part to play, but also sent him tickets to Elton John’s farewell concert as a token of its support. 


While Twitter is not the only brand to produce a tongue-in-cheek response to John Lewis’ Christmas advert this year, it’s succeeded in being the most ingenious idea. It’s also a subtle way for the social media platform to highlight the importance of conversation, a key feature of its platform, whether you’ve been invited to the party or not. This, coupled with the fact that it’s self-aware and not overtly promotional, has made it a phenomenal success.