John Lewis' Christmas ad is slammed for being 'predictably woke'

John Lewis’ 2021 Christmas ad featuring an alien being welcomed to earth is slammed for being ‘pathetically predictably woke’ and having too much of a ‘message’ instead of a traditional festive theme

  • John Lewis’ highly anticipated 2021 Christmas advert is branded ‘too woke’
  • Features a young 14-year-old boy introducing an alien to Christmas traditions
  • One frustrated viewer even vowed to boycott going into the retailer’s stores

John Lewis’ highly anticipated 2021 Christmas advert has been slammed by social media users online for being ‘pathetically predictably woke.’  

The retailer’s two-minute ad, titled ‘Unexpected Guest’, features a young boy introducing an alien to Christmas traditions, before she emotionally departs back to her home planet. 

It stars space traveller Skye crash-landing at the height of festivities in the woods near the home of 14-year-old Nathan, who introduces her to the traditions of eating mince pies, decorating the tree and, to her slight confusion, wearing novelty jumpers.

However, some were far from impressed with the retailer’s latest campaign and accused it of lacking ‘any Christmas emotion’ – with some even vowing to boycott stores.

‘Pathetically predictably woke! Won’t bother going in your ‘remaining’ stores!!!’ wrote one, while a second vented: ‘More wokeness, as if we haven’t had enough already. But that rocket is bad for the environment, missed a trick there! Great song though.’

John Lewis’ highly anticipated 2021 Christmas advert has been slammed by social media users online for being ‘pathetically predictably woke.’ Pictured, space traveller Skye and 14-year-old Nathan

Taking to the comments section, one person penned: ‘Pathetically predictably woke! Won’t bother going in your ‘remaining’ stores!!!’ (pictured)

The soundtrack is provided by 20-year-old London singer and songwriter Lola Young, who performs a cover of Together In Electric Dreams, originally released by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder in 1984.

The ad begins with Nathan, who on his way home from school spots a flashing light in the distance and chases it to the woods beside his home. It is here he encounters space traveller Skye and her spaceship.

The ice between the pair is broken as Nathan adapts his own Christmas jumper by adding a star and twinkly lights – just like Skye’s. 

Viewers then see Nathan help Skye discover the magic of her first Christmas – introducing her to some of his favourite festive moments. He brings her fairy lights from his family’s tree, mince pies, Christmas films and plays in the show.

The time comes when Skye has fixed her ship and must return to her home planet and the pair are to be separated – and in the bittersweet, heart-warming moment, Nathan gifts her his Christmas jumper, the same one he was wearing when they first met. 

But many took issue with the advert and accused John Lewis of spending too much time trying to covey a message, rather than focus on the joy of Christmas itself.

The ad stars space traveller Skye crash-landing at the height of festivities in the woods near the home of 14-year-old Nathan, who introduces her to the traditions of eating mince pies, decorating the tree and, to her slight confusion, wearing novelty jumpers

Taking to social media, one person wrote: ‘Time to boycott woke John Lewis’ (pictured)

Taking to social media, one frustrated viewer wrote: ‘Predictable in todays woke climate! Disappointing on many levels. Completely lacks any Christmas emotion! Total (continuing) fail by JL and their woke advertising company this year!’ 

A second simply penned: ‘Time to boycott woke John Lewis,’ while a third argued: ‘Of course #johnlewis have lost the plot. Even forgetting the woke BS, to spend that money on this having lost so much is criminal. Using an alien to alienate your core market? Not smart.’ 

However, others instead praised the Christmas advert and said John Lewis ‘never fail to disappoint.’

‘I see the #JohnLewis Christmas ad has dropped and a LOT of people are getting very offended and screaming WOKE with no context. Not sure why. Must be because of the alien. Whatever you do, guys, do NOT watch E.T., that film is not for you,’ argued one. 

A second enthused: ‘The John Lewis Christmas advert for 2021 has dropped. They never fail to disappoint. Love it!!!’

Another penned: ‘I wasn’t emotionally ready for the new #johnlewisadvert this morning. Love the #UnexpectedGuest concept and it’s a brilliant use of one of my favourite songs of all time, #togetherinelectricdreams. #johnlewis have done it again.’

The ad begins with Nathan (pictured) who on his way home from school spots a flashing light in the distance and chases it to the woods beside his home. It is here he encounters space traveller Skye and her spaceship

However, others praised the Christmas advert and said John Lewis ‘never fail to disappoint’ (pictured)

The release of the ad is around a fortnight earlier than usual and comes as the retailer revealed Christmas-related searches on its website are up 50 per cent on this time last year.

The ad was created with agency adam&eveDDB, with John Lewis refusing to reveal a budget but saying it was in line with previous years’ spending.

Shoppers can buy a version of the Christmas jumper that Nathan gives Skye – minus the added lights in the ad’s version, in a nod to environmental sustainability – for between £14 and £29 depending on size, with 10 per cent of the profits going to the charities FareShare and Home-Start UK.

Every product in the ad is from John Lewis, with customers able to ‘shop key scenes’, including the decorated Christmas tree and dinner table.

The ad first airs at 8.15pm on Thursday on ITV during The Pride of Britain Awards after launching at 6.30am for members of the ‘My John Lewis’ loyalty scheme via email access and from 8am on the retailer’s website and social media channels.

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.’

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