The 70-second ad will break on Sunday 15 November during The X Factor on ITV1, followed by 30-second and 10-second executions, which will run until Christmas Eve.
The ad will also appear in cinemas nationwide from 20 December and be supported with direct mail, press, outdoor and online activity.
John Lewis hopes the campaign, created by Adam & Eve, will remind adults of the excitement they felt about Christmas as children and bring out “childhood delight” while positioning John Lewis as the place to buy “thoughtful, considered gifts”.
The ad features children playing with Christmas presents, and one girl transforming into an adult as she opens a present.
The ad is set to a rerecorded version of the Guns n Roses track by Swedish folk band Taken by Trees and is the first time the rock band has allowed its music to be used in a UK advertising campaign.
John Lewis has added a link to iTunes and MySpace on its website to allow fans to download the track.