Ahh, the John Lewis Christmas advert, quickly becoming a national institution, has resurfaced for 2016’s festive season.

This year, the advert depicts a father setting up his daughter’s new trampoline, presumably on the night before Christmas, only for a few pesky foxes hiding out in the garden to venture onto the garden toy and discover the joy of bouncing for themselves. The family’s pet dog – Buster the boxer – sits sullenly watching the foxes’ shenanigans, so when Christmas day comes around and Bridget (the little girl) runs excitedly towards the trampoline, Buster leaps ahead of her and onto the trampoline so he can have a bounce himself. The advert then finishes with the slogan “Gifts that everyone will love.”

As sweet and charming as the advert may be, I feel John Lewis have fallen short of previous years, when they have been able to create truly heartfelt narratives in their adverts – their 2014 ‘Monty the penguin’ advert being a perfect example, with its story about the joys of companionship. Within only two minutes we felt a connection to the penguin and when he was hurting, so were we.

However, this year’s advert all just feels a little bit soulless – the narrative is primitive and Buster the boxer doesn’t evoke our emotions in the same way as other adverts have done. Whilst the story of Monty made us feel despondent at the beginning of the advert, before picking us up again at the end again, the story of Buster doesn’t have as much build up, nothing saddening; nothing particularly meaningful – it raises a smile at the end but not much more…

Let’s hope for something better next year, John Lewis.