The activity introduces the strapline, "Give a little more love this Christmas", and is set to a cover of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood track 'The Power of Love', by Parlophone artist Gabrielle Aplin.
The creative by Adam & Eve/DDB aims to celebrate going the extra mile to find the perfect gift and launches today (8 November) on social media channels, ahead of being debuted on TV tomorrow during 'Derren Brown: Fear and Faith' on Channel 4.
Television activity follows a determined snowman on an "epic journey" across river, mountain road and city, in order to find a perfect gift for a snow woman.
Craig Inglis, marketing director at John Lewis, said the idea behind the ad was to give a "creative twist" to the message that its customers "put real effort and emotion into finding the perfect gift for their loved ones at Christmas".
The ad was shot in New Zealand and launches only a week after sister brand Waitrose unveiled its "unglamorous" Christmas campaign that claims the supermarket will donate £1m it saved from production costs, to charity.
A source told Marketing that the Waitrose ad has been seen within John Lewis as an "implied criticism" of its high-profile ad, while Richard Cristofoli, marketing director at Debenhams, was keen to stress that its Christmas ad was shot in the UK.
Cristofoli said the Debenhams ad was filmed entirely in Britain, "unlike many of its competitors [because] we don't really see any rationale in not filming in the UK".
The John Lewis ad is being trailed on Channel 4 today in order to give the public a sneak peek of the ad, in a media first for the retailer.
Manning Gottlieb OMD has handled media planning and buying.
This year’s Christmas ad has been directed by Dougal Wilson, who also shot last year’s John Lewis Christmas ad and the brand's 'Always A Woman' execution.
Activity will run for six weeks with television activity being supported by in-store, press, online and social media activity.
The television execution is being hosted on johnlewis.com and the John Lewis YouTube channel, while 'The Power of Love' cover version will be available to download from iTunes, with proceeds being donated to charity.Follow @mattchapmanuk