By Christopher Ratcliff

Look, it’s November. There’s no getting around the fact that for the next 52 days you’re going to be pounded with Christmas stuff. This is your life now. But you’re marketers, YOU CHOSE THIS.

It’s an established fact that Christmas no longer begins when supermarkets start stocking up on Quality Street, it begins when John Lewis releases its Christmas advert. And here’s something that may send a shiver down your cynical spine – it’s happening next week.

Can you bare the anticipation?

There are so many questions to be answered… Which heartstring will John Lewis cruelly manipulate?

Last year it was older people, the year before that, bears. This year I predict some kind of sentient tea towel. Full disclosure: I hear John Lewis accidentally bulk ordered a ton of tea towels and they need to get rid of them.

Also, which terrible 90s Britpop song will be given a bloodless, pallid cover by an unknown Scandinavian artist? This year I predict something by Shed Seven.

Or maybe John Lewis won’t bother this year and merely show a creaking conveyor belt featuring some out of date chocolates from last Christmas – because THAT’S all we should expect from 2016.

Either way next week will be full of tears. So in anticipation of this, may I present the 10 most shared Christmas ads of all time, according to video ad tech company Unruly.

And as I said in the headline, you may be surprised at the results…

1) Edeka: “#Heimkommen” (2015) – 3,984,010 views

Yes, a German advert in which a grandfather fakes his own death to trick his family is the most shared Christmas ad of all time. Take that Monty the Penguin!

2) Universal: Minions movie 2014 – Minions Go Caroling – 3,849,214 shares

More than 3.8 million people found this entertaining enough to share. I’ll let you digest that for a minute or two.

3) WestJet: Real-time Giving 2013 – 2,221,976 shares

Santa Clause uses his special Christmas powers* to delight** airline passengers before they board their flights.

*a network of ‘elves’ rooting through your bins and drawers

**buy the silence of

4) Kmart: Show Your Joe 2013 – 1,857,872 shares

It’s no ‘Ship My Pants’ but so little is these days. Sigh.

5) John Lewis: “Man On The Moon” (2015) – 1,672,666 shares

The first of three John Lewis ads in this list, and also its most recent – last year’s Man on the Moon. I interviewed my mum about this advert last year. She cried.

6) John Lewis: The Bear and the Hare 2013 – 1,226,467 shares

Rabbit selfishly wakes bear up early from its hibernation, upsetting its natural sleep cycle. Bear miraculously doesn’t rip its face off.

7) Sainsbury’s: “Mog’s Christmas Calamity” (2015) – 1,072,251 shares

I hate to ruin your day but Mog the cat is technically an… uh… ex-cat in the children’s picture books. So this advert is non-canonical.

8) John Lewis: Monty the Penguin 2014 – 1,012,605 shares

After two years of writing about this advert, you’d think I’d have run out of jokes by now. And you’re right. So here’s the advert recut to The Babadook trailer.

9) Sainsbury’s: Christmas is for Sharing 2014 – 771,387 shares

2014 saw Sainsbury’s manage to commercialise the horrors of war to sell a limited edition bar of chocolate. Good for them.

10) NBA: Jingle Hoops 2013 – 564,475 shares

“OF COURSE THE CAMERA WAS ON, do you think we’d have spent 25 million dollars on this advert only to NOT TURN THE CAMERA ON LEBRON!!! On a separate note, can we go for a second take? Please?”

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