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Carrot and shtick: In 2016, discount retailer Aldi tweeted a video, created by McCann, in which its mascot, Kevin the Carrot, gears up for the big event of Christmas: not Santa, but watching the John Lewis ad. The carrot is so excited heithyperventilates and has to breathe into a paper bag.

How tweet: This year, Twitter's PR agency The Romans created an ad featuring an American professor named John Lewis, whose Twitter handle is, you guessed it, @johnlewis, and who has been good-naturedly composing witty replies to tweets aimed at the British retailer.

Not so black and white: This year, several brands were quick to pile on John Lewis' "The Boy and the Piano" spot starring Elton John. A tweet from discount grocer Lidl featured a keyboard it sells with the message: "Just because you don't have 872 to spend on a piano doesn't mean you can't be the next Elton."

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