John Lewis Christmas advert 2015 screencap
The Man on the Moon in the John Lewis advert has a little girl looking up to himJohn Lewis

High-street favourite John Lewis has officially kicked off the countdown to Christmas with the release of its annual festive advert. Last year, the retailer pulled at consumer heartstrings with a commercial that featured Monty the penguin, who with the help of a boy called Sam, found his soulmate. Over the course of two minutes, viewers witnessed love, sacrifice, an unexpected friendship and most importantly, a grand gesture.

This time around, the magical narrative follows a little girl and her determination to touch the life of an elderly man who lives alone on the Moon. Once again, consumers are taken on an emotional rollercoaster that ends with a life-changing gift. You know what they say − if it's not broken, don't fix it.

Although this is John Lewis's first odyssey into space for its Christmas campaigns, this is not the first and certainly won't be the last time, the astronomical idea of a man on the moon has impacted the world.

Moon landing (1969)

In the John Lewis advert an elderly man is living alone on the moon, but until the late 1960s it was very much uncharted territory. American Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon in July 1969. The historic moments were captured on television cameras installed on the Eagle and as he put his left foot down first and declared: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

R.E.M. Man On The Moon (1992)

In 1992 American alternative rock band R.E.M. released the track Man On The Moon from their eighth studio album Automatic For The People. Written by lead singer Michael Stipe, the song is an ode to late comedian Andy Kaufman, whose forte was aggressive humour and pranks. The musician revealed that the funnyman had been a huge inspiration since he first saw him perform on Saturday Night Live.

Although Man On The Moon only peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 18 on the UK Singles Chart, it remains one of R.E.M.'s most popular songs to date. It would later lend its name to Milos Forman's Kaufman biopic (see below) and features heavily in the film's soundtrack.

Man On The Moon (1999)

Man On The Moon is a 1999 American biographical comedy-drama film that followed the life and career of legendary comedian Andy Kaufman. Hollywood actor Jim Carrey played the role of the eccentric performer, who died of cancer at the age of 35. Although it was a box-office flop for Universal, Carrey won a best actor Golden Globe for his portrayal of Kaufman.

The Torkelsons (1991-1993)

The Torkelsons was an American sitcom that aired on NBC from 1991-1993 and starred Connie Ray, Olivia Burnette and William Schallert. It centred on Millicent Torkelson, a poor mother whose husband had abandoned her and their five children. Think a Brady Bunch-like scenario. Thanks oldest daughter Dorothy, kids everywhere learned that talking to the "Man in the Moon" can offer solace during hard times.