In recent years, the #Christmas advert has reached near-mythical status, with clamour over when the big retailers will release their adverts and how the nation's heartstrings might be tugged upon when they are. The Christmas retail market is a crucial one and Christmas #Advertising has become a battleground for shops to try and ensure festive victory. In recent years, John Lewis has led the way, fighting with Sainsbury's for YouTube views and both retailers achieving over 23m views last year. This year, it is Marks & Spencer who have emerged so far as the competition for John Lewis, trying to improve upon their more product-focused attempt last year.

Buster the Boxer: John Lewis's animal hope

The John Lewis advert, famed for causing tears across Britain, has been so hotly awaited that a video spoof created by A-level student Nick Jablonka became a hit on YouTube as people believed it was the real advert (and continued to be a hit once the secret was revealed, with his media studies coursework presumably set for an A now). The real advert has now been released, featuring real and CGI #Animals stealing the spotlight from the little girl who just wants to bounce.

Unlike last year's sad Man on the Moon ad, John Lewis has opted for a comedy dog and heartwarming woodland creatures to cheer the nation, perhaps a reflection on the darker side of 2016. The advert tells the story of Bridget, a girl who wants to bounce, and the animals who jump on the trampoline her dad has made for her. The advert has a hashtag, #BusterTheBoxer, and already has garnered over 12m views on YouTube.

Mrs Claus delivers M&S's Christmas dreams

Not long after John Lewis's advert debuted, Marks & Spencer released their Christmas advert, in which Mrs Claus gets to turn action hero to deliver shoes to a girl from her annoying little brother. The advert was directed by Tom Hooper and shot in Iceland, showing how M&S are pulling out the stops this Christmas to deliver Christmas success to their struggling business. The scale is impressive and the advert tries to corner the emotional side that other retailers usually have covered.

So far, John Lewis's advert has far more views on YouTube, but with weeks to go until Christmas and other retailers still likely to reveal Christmas adverts, the battle is not over.