Speculation is rife in the U.K. over the theme of the new John Lewis ad, which is set to be revealed on Thursday.
With not much to go on, other than rumors that Dougal Wilson will direct again, the race is on to identify any snippet of a hint of its subject. Aldi even managed to fool some people with teasers for its new Christmas spot featuring a CGI carrot. However, today eagle-eyed Twitter users have spotted a very short clip, posted by a Twitter handle named "Bounce2016," in which a dog watches a kid bounce around a garden on a space hopper as being suspiciously John Lewis-like.
In the meantime, a piece of student spec work by high school student Nick Jablonka was mistaken for a new John Lewis ad. Jablonka posted the ad back on YouTube in June as part of his A level media coursework, but unexpectedly found his video going viral earlier this week, probably because the title contains the words "John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016." It has now had almost half a million views.
The animated film, which features a sad snowman stuck inside a snowglobe dreaming of his lady love, does have echoes of the John Lewis spot from 2012 featuring snowmen, and features the trademark John Lewis cover of a classic pop track, in this case "Follow You, Follow Me" by Genesis. (The track, by Vapor featuring Adaline, was in fact recorded for an ad for Cineplex last year by Canadian agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, also featuring snowmen.)
However, to any seasoned John Lewis watcher, it's clear this isn't the real deal -- as indeed Jablonka acknowledges in an updated explanation on YouTube: "I uploaded this video with no intention of it becoming so popular. This definitely sn't the official John Lewis advert. I wasn't going to upload it at all, the title and the video are as it was submitted so I really didn't mean for the confusion. Although I really appreciate the overwhelming comments, I do believe this piece could do with a lot of work as it was done in around two weeks from start to finish."
Still, full marks to Jablonka for capturing the spirit of a John Lewis Christmas -- according to the Telegraph, he has already been invited in for a behind-the-scenes look at their advertising process.