MyVoucherCodes gave students of the School of Communication Arts seven hours to make a 'discounted' version for up to £700.
The final video was directed by SCA students Ben Golding and Chloe Cordon, whose work is called Christmas Doesn't Cost The Moon.
In the video, the moon shots are replaced with hand-drawn art sets, real-life actors replaced by dolls and telescopes replaced by toilet roll. MyVoucherCodes said all props were either homemade or sourced from pound shops, all backdrops handmade and crafted in seven hours and an original vocal was also recorded by the students.
The video ends with the message that "Christmas doesn't have to be big budget".
Students were advised by PR industry experts including Frank PR group MD and founder Andrew Bloch. Frank PR is handling PR for the video.
MyVoucherCodes general manager Chris Reilly said: "While John Lewis is never knowingly undersold, our speciality is knowingly underselling, so it made sense to produce a Christmas advert without the big spend – reflecting the behaviour of the savvy shoppers who visit our site.
"Watching the students in action has been really inspiring and, despite fears at the start of the day we might be looking at a turkey, we strongly believe we've produced a cracker."
Student and co-creator Chloe Cordon said: "We can't wait to see everyone's reaction and it was of course lovely to see a few grown men playing with dolls all afternoon."
The video will be hosted on the MyVoucherCodes website throughout the Christmas period.
As PRWeek reported earlier today, the John Lewis campaign was tweeted or retweeted 22,429 times in the hour after its release at 8am.