My name’s Michelle and I’m a Christmas addict.

I start my Christmas countdown on Boxing Day, get really excited when the summer holidays end and I can’t wait to get Halloween and Bonfire Night out of the way to get ready for the BIG event: list making, planning, shopping, lunching, cooking, list making, baking, card writing, present wrapping, decorating, partying, did I mention list making?

If you’re like me, then you probably also eagerly watch out for two special Christmas adverts – John Lewis and Coca-Cola’s “Holidays are Coming”.

Every year we are inundated with a whole raft of expensive commercial advertising campaigns launched to sell high value products and guilt parents into spending a fortune on gifts for their children.

Not so John Lewis and Coke. Last year’s John Lewis advert was a sweet story about a snowman trying to find the perfect present for someone special, and 2011’s John Lewis ad was cute, clever, and tugged at the heartstrings: we watched a little boy getting very excited about Christmas and gifts and, in our cynical way, believed it was because he would be receiving lots of them from Santa. But no, the little boy was excited with the gift he had for mummy and daddy.

The message? It’s better to give than receive.

This year’s John Lewis ad is even better. In an old-fashioned Disney-style animation (none of your current Pixar/CGI hi-tech stuff here), we watch animal friends Bear and Hare getting ready for Christmas. Hare is sad because Bear hibernates every year and misses Christmas. This year, well, I’m not going to spoil it for you, but this year is different.

The message? It’s about love, it’s about family, friends and being together on special occasions. Subliminally, with the old-style animation, it reinforces “olden” days’ values, when Christmas wasn’t about money or commercialism,

But what’s key here is that it’s no longer just an advert: it launched with a West End premiere and became a news story in its own right.  The Telegraph headlines it “The two minutes that launch Christmas” and with the #bearandhare hashtag, the advert is already creating a storm on social media channels.

The advert cost £1million but John Lewis is spending £7m in total on the campaign. Unlike other retail giants who spend a fortune on celebrities, John Lewis simply tugs on your heartstrings and sends a message.  Marketing Director Craig Inglis says it’s all designed to “connect emotionally with our customers”.

Kudos to the team behind this year’s Christmas effort – they’ve managed to hit the headlines, trend on Twitter, spend £7m and still not lose the message.

So you might not have £7m to spend on your communications campaign but this isn’t about money, it’s about getting the right message and sharing it with the right audience in the right way – and we can all create one of those.