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Welcome to the brave new world of the “heartwarming” Christmas advertisement

If the Victorians turned Christmas ads into an art form, today’s offerings blur the boundary between culture and commerce entirely

By Chris Townsend  

It has become uncontroversial to suggest that, at some point, we as a species crossed a line, entering as we did so into the brave new world of the “Christmas advert.” Common wisdom has it that the John Lewis Partnership carried us across that threshold: for ten years in a row, the brand has attempted to up the ante with their Christmas ads. They first struck consumer gold with ‘The Longest Wait’ in 2011—the one where we think a child is greedily awaiting his Christmas presents, but it turns out…

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