1. ITV Report

John Lewis launches Christmas advert 2014

2014's Christmas advert Photo: YouTube/John Lewis

John Lewis will be hoping for a repeat of the successes of previous years as it releases its Christmas advertisement online today.

The Christmas advert has become something of an institution with their blend of fluffy characters, celebrity soundtracks and heart-warming twists.

This year's advert is about a touching friendship between a boy called Sam and his penguin Monty:

The advert was not filmed with real penguins, but uses CGI technology to imitate the look and behaviour of Adelie penguins.

It is set to a reworked Beatles song, Real Love, performed by the Brit-winning singer Tom Odell.

He follows in the footsteps of Gabrielle Aplin (The Power Of Love, 2012) and Lily Allen (Somewhere Only We Know, 2013), who both had number one singles on the back of the adverts.

Tom Odell's debut album Long Way Down topped the albums chart in 2013 Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

Last year's advert, featuring a rabbit who gives his bear friend an alarm clock to wake him up on Christmas morning, has been watched more than 13 millions times on the company's YouTube page.

The soundtrack to this year's offering began life as a solo demo by John Lennon, written in his New York home in the Dakota Building in 1977.

When Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were looking for singles to include in their Anthology project, they provided new backing for Lennon's voice to overhaul the rough tape.

The director of the ad Dougal Wilson - who is now on his seventh John Lewis commercial - has always taken a keen interest in the music used in his work.

He also has a side career creating quirky videos for acts such as Coldplay, Bat For Lashes, Will Young and Jarvis Cocker.

Thre advert will get its first TV outing tomorrow in the first commercial break of Channel 4's Gogglebox.