Heartbreaking 'alternative John Lewis Christmas ad' has moved people to tears

Marie Claire Dorking
·4-min read

Watch: This 'alternative John Lewis Christmas ad' has moved people to tears

A man has created a heartbreaking video that echoes the sentiments of the renowned John Lewis Christmas advert and it has left viewers in floods of tears.

While some Christmas adverts have already hit screens, we’re still awaiting the launch of this year’s festive offering from John Lewis.

But one man has created his own version, which captures all our 2020 emotions.

Sam Clegg, who sings the backing track on the homemade ad, enlisted his dad to star in the emotional video, which depicts the loving relationship between a man and his dog, Bruno.

Read more: People are putting up their Christmas decorations early and experts say it could boost wellbeing

The clip starts off by showing an older man and his dog getting ready to celebrate the festive season by opening advent calendars and Christmas presents.

As the duo continue to count down to Christmas, the advert takes a tragic turn when they go out for a wintery walk and Bruno goes missing.

His owner is left devastated by the loss of his pet and tirelessly searches for Bruno, even putting up lost dog posters.

The video takes a further sombre turn when the man goes back to look for his dog one last time and tragedy strikes.

We’ll leave you to watch the remainder of the tale, but just to warn you we’re still sobbing.

Read more: 200,000 people to join in 'Clap for Carers'-style bell ringing event on Christmas Eve

A man has made an alternative John Lewis advert for charity. (Sam Clegg via YouTube)
A man has made an alternative John Lewis advert for charity. (Sam Clegg via YouTube)

Since Clegg posted the heart-wrenching ad on YouTube, it has clocked up more than 1.7 million views and received hundreds of comments from people moved to tears by the emotional tale.

“Crying but this has been one of the best Christmas adverts I’ve ever seen,” one person wrote. “I love it so much!”

“My dog passed away a few months ago, this hit home and had me crying but such an amazing message,” another added.

“I was crying my eyes out after watching this,” yet another person wrote.

“Well that hit home,” another commented. “I really hope and pray people are reunited.”

Watch: The Argos Christmas advert has dropped and it’s pretty magical.

In the YouTube video description for the advert, Clegg issues a disclaimer that some viewers may find the clip emotional, but explained that he made it to highlight the plight of vulnerable people at this time.

“Warning this is a sad song and video that will make you cry,” he wrote. “This song/advert is dedicated to everyone who has faced hardships in 2020.”

Clegg is selling the track Don’t Let Me Go, which appears on the video, for 79p and says that 100% of the money will be donated to charity.

“With this song, we hope to raise money for multiple charities that support the elderly,” he explains. “We were inspired by our own hometown Sir Captain Tom Moore’s charitable efforts to raise money for a brilliant cause.”

He said the concept of the advert was to show the bond between humans and dogs.

“Many elderly people rely on their animal family for their wellbeing. This is why with every £0.79p purchase of our song “Don’t Let Me Go”, 100% of the money will be donated to charity.”

Read more: Amazing moment former ballerina with dementia remembers routine to Swan Lake

Clegg told Fabulous Digital the advert didn’t cost anything to make, as he used an old camera he had lying around, and made the song and video by himself, with the help of his own dad and the family dog, Charlie.

The advert captures the touching relationship between an elderly man and his dog. (Sam Clegg via YouTube)
The advert captures the touching relationship between an elderly man and his dog. (Sam Clegg via YouTube)

You can buy the song on Amazon and iTunes.

This isn’t the first John Lewis-style ad that has tugged on our heart strings this year.

Back in October, screen writer and actor, Zach Margolin, posted his own version of a festive ad to video-sharing platform TikTok, and it has since gone viral.

Set to the heartbreakingly beautiful All I Want by Alex Porat, the video stars Margolin’s real life grandma, Josie Singer, and captures all the uncertainty and emotion surrounding Christmas this year.

Margolin believes the video has touched a chord with so many as thoughts turn to how the festive season will look because of coronavirus restrictions.

“I think a lot of people relate to it,” he says. “Lockdown was extremely difficult for everyone, particularly the elderly who were isolated away from their families.

“Nobody wants to be alone for Christmas and I think it’s the reality that this could be the case for some this year that made the video so real.”

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