Twitter's Charming Christmas Ad Stars the Real @JohnLewis (No, Not the British Retailer)

Though he's often mistaken for his namesake

Every year around this time, Virginia computer science teacher John Lewis gets inundated on Twitter with messages about his wonderful new Christmas commercial—you know, the one he had nothing to do with making. 

That's because he shares a name with the British retailer John Lewis, whose holiday adverts have long set the bar for sweet storytelling, helping to create something like a Super Bowl of competitive Christmas advertising in the U.K. each year. 

Except it's John Lewis the Virginian, not John Lewis the retailer, who managed to snag the Twitter handle @JohnLewis. Which of course leads to plenty of confusion among Twitter users who want to sound off about the ads—and who end up lavishing praise on John Lewis the person rather than John Lewis the retailer, whose handle is the more esoteric @jlandpartners. 

Still, John has quite a bit of fun with this case of mistaken identity, replying to well-wishers with pithy tweets from his Blacksburg home—amassing some 43,000 followers of his own, and becoming something of a cult figure along the way. 

Now, in the wake of John Lewis releasing its 2018 Xmas spot starring Elton John last week, Twitter has given the real @JohnLewis his own holiday commercial, all about his chatty replies to folks at the holidays. 

Twitter UK Christmas Film 2018 - #NotARetailStore ft. @JohnLewis

Whereas the Elton John spot has been a bit polarizing (for our money, it's a clear winner, though not everyone feels the same), the Twitter ad is pure entertainment—an unexpected bit of whimsy that everyone can get behind. 

"I think it's hilarious that people mistake me for the U.K. store and I do my best to direct them to the right place," Lewis tells the Guardian (which reports that Lewis gets 50,000 tweets a year misdirected to him). "I see a massive spike in tweets at this time of year, and I always watch the John Lewis advert, especially as it becomes a big part of my conversation." 

Check out some of Lewis' recent tweets below—as well as one from Elton John.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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