I can’t quite believe I’m doing this, but this week I want to write about an advert.
Of course you know the one I’m talking about — the John Lewis Man In The Moon advert that was first broadcast on Friday evening.
Do we know the crisis that might be happening behind the front door of number 32?
I hadn’t realised it was International John Lewis Christmas Advert Day until the BBC devoted a significant portion of time to it on Friday ahead of its release.
The furore afterwards showed the Beeb wasn’t mistaken in reporting on it — everyone was talking about it.
Weird, isn’t it?
We’ve had people in Sharm struggling to get home because someone may have stuck a bomb in the hold of a plane, there’s a baby that might have been cured of leukaemia, the refugee crisis is showing no sign of abating as the weather turns colder and conditions worsen…and I’m talking about an advert.
The thing is the John Lewis adverts, while schmaltzy, do tug on the old heartstrings a bit.
I can’t say I had anything other than a warm feeling when last year’s penguin got a girlfriend, or in years gone by when a variety of small children did something nice for others.
This year I cried.
I don’t cry. Crying is not something I normally do.
But — and here I should issue a spoiler alert — I think when you get a bit older you get a bit more aware that there are people, like the Man on the Moon, who will be spending Christmas alone and who feel desperately lonely at this time of year, especially.
The advert might have cost £1m to make and £6m to air, and it might be designed to get us all to feel warm and squishy inside about John Lewis and its products, but this year’s message is an important one.
Will any of your relatives be spending Christmas alone? How about your neighbours?
We know a lot about the human crises around the world — bombs, refugees, war and epidemics.
But do we know the crisis that might be happening behind the front door of number 32?
Would a bit of turkey, a small gift and some time spent in a warm house help?
Watch the John Lewis ad here