EACH November sees the opening of television’s advert calendar, in which stores take turns to reveal which thirty-second clips they’ll be annoying you with between now and Christmas Day.

In recent years, these adverts have become increasingly sophisticated: some gifts, according to one shoutline, are more than just a gift. Indeed, the double-doors Christmas Eve of the advert calendar currently belongs to John Lewis: or as it might be better named, Elton John Lewis. This year, the chain has called in the services of said music legend, who has reportedly pocketed a cool £5 million out of the advert’s £10 million budget. Already seen ten million times on YouTube, the advert takes Elton back through his life, ending on a Christmas as a young boy when he was given a piano as a present (not that the piano he plays is actually available in store – though you can get a digital one for £872).

Over the past decade or so, Christmas adverts have grown in both budget and ambition. In the United States, the big advertising bonanza is historically based around the Super Bowl – the fight for slots is intense, with companies and advertising firms trying to outdo each other with their creative vision. We don’t have a Super Bowl equivalent here (or if we do, it’s on the BBC), which is why our focus is on the run up to Christmas. Instead of American Football, we have Nadine Dorries and the nether regions of a kangaroo.

It may seem as though they have been around forever, but the first John Lewis Christmas advert was actually only run in 2007. A decade on, and such is the ubiquity of its adverts that this year’s was parodied before it was released (by Radio X), and has since been trolled by both its rivals (‘It’s a Lidl bit cheaper…’ another supermarket plugged its keyboards) and even its friends (a Waitrose ad sees people fast-forwarding the advert to go off and eat stollen instead).

Welcome, then, to the imperial phase of Christmas adverts: once you’ve spent £10 million on an advert, where is left to go next? Already rival stores are responding with different approaches. Marks and Spencer spent their cinematic budget on buying extra slots for their much-cheaper advert instead. Iceland, meanwhile, cannily co-opted a Greenpeace advert about palm oil, which was promptly banned and shared on social media.

John Lewis, by contrast, have hit their classic seventies rock sweet spot: Elton John succeeding their previous advert about Bohemian Rhapsody. As any music fan knows, what happened next was punk rock.

Maybe we should enjoy their blockbuster adverts while we can: next year, it might be a case of Nevermind the Baubles instead.