The full two-minute ad features the whimsical story of a young girl named Lily as she strikes up a connection with an elderly man who she spies through her telescope living alone on the moon.
She sets out to wish him a merry Christmas, finally succeeding by sending up the present of a telescope of his own tied to a bunch of balloons - a gesture much appreciated by the man in a scene that will likely cause at least some viewers to swallow hard.
The ad is set to the Oasis track, Half The World Away, recorded by the 19-year-old Norwegian artist Aurora and ends with the strapline “Show someone they’re loved this Christmas”.
The retailer said it had teamed up with Age UK in an effort to raise awareness of the million older people who go for a month, not just at Christmas, without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
John Lewis’s stores and website will be supporting the charity throughout November and December with activities, a text-to-donate mechanism and through the sales of selected Christmas merchandise.
The ad itself was made for around £1 million, mainly at the Warner Bros studio in Hertfordshire with a combination of creative set building and CGI, and the retailer is spending another £6 million on television slots.
John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis said: “Our Christmas advert is once again all about going the extra mile to give someone the perfect gift.
“This year though, the story is told in a uniquely creative and engaging way as we see Lily, our heroine, go to great lengths to connect with the Man on the Moon.
“We hope it inspires people to find really special gifts for their loved ones and through our partnership with Age UK, raises awareness of the issue of loneliness amongst older people and encourages others to support in any way they can.”
The ad launches on the retailer’s social media channels today and screens on television for the first time tonight during the first break of Gogglebox on Channel 4.