The big debate is on. Has John Lewis done it again with #MontyThePenguin? Or might Sainsbury's have pulled it out of the bag?

John Lewis has done so well with its Christmas ads in the past that people have begun to anticipate its launch. This year was the turn of a cute little penguin in search of love – lovely, but perhaps not quite as powerful as previous campaigns.

Warc subscribers can read Les Binet, Daniel Müllensiefen and Paul Edwards' analysis of The power of music, with reference to John Lewis' snowman ad (still remember him? That was from 2012!).

There is more than a little suggestion that Sainbury's might have won John Lewis' Christmas crown with it's World War 1 inspired ad, made in partnership with the Royal British Legion. #ChristmasIsForSharing

This highly emotional ad could prove to be a master-stroke from the supermarket and its agency AMV BBDO, but isn't without its critics.

Andrew Curry recently argued that Lack of emotional connection is at the heart of Tesco's troubles – will this ad start to mend their fortunes?

A Christmas campaign with a simple message that can be made into a social media hashtag seems to be the order of the day:

Boots, #SpecialBecause

M&S is asking us to #FollowTheFairies

Luxury brand Mulburry parodies Christmas gift one-upmanship, and reckons it can help you #WinChristmas

Debenhams will make sure you've #FoundIt

These emotional and playful ads stand in contrast to Lidl, which continues its 'affordable quality' positioning this Christmas.

This ad builds on the massive success that has got its competitors spooked – read the marketing story in its IPA Effectiveness Awards entry Lidl: Surprisingly High Returns for a Surprisingly Low Investment.

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