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Christmas TV ads: John Lewis get the Elton prefix

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We’re not feeling the love tonight

The Boy And The Piano John Lewis Partnership

With fanfare and media blitz, John Lewis have unveiled their Christmas ad for 2018, and congratulations to the Partnership. They’ve really caught the zeitgeist of austerity Britain.

Like Iceland’s ad piggy-backing Greenpeace and the effects of palm oil on the world’s ecosystem, they’ve also made a statement … it’s just a little bit different.

The Boy And The Piano, it’s called – it should be The Rich Bloke Taking The Piss.

The video lasts 2min 20sec and John Lewis, who, it’s reported, paid £7m to produce it, first feature at 2min 18sec. At least the workers at the Partnership know the Christmas bonus wasn’t spunked away.

The MMR podcast: carving up the Christmas TV ads

But what is this Elton tribute all about? The old boy’s not even dead, although it looks like a fair bit of mummification has set in, to be unfair.

It’s little more than a rosy home movie/ego boost for Elton, showing him playing to stadiums and shooting the breeze with glamorous folk while on tour in his private plane.

Or is this a bit of smart marketing for Elton’s farewell tour and back catalogue?

More incredible: how much would it have cost Elton and his team to launch the promo into homes and computers across the world? And it’s being reported that he’s being paid shedloads for this self-glorying guff. Not to mention the bonus of Pavlovian downloads of Your Song from the likes of Spotify and iTunes. Christmas really has come early for Reg, although it’s not certain it will cover his bill for fresh flowers – reportedly £293,000 in a 20-month period, which is an incredible number of trips to his local garage forecourt.

And it’s not even the first time John Lewis have plugged Your Song. The 2010 ad featured Ellie Goulding covering the cloying ballad. Are there goldfish running marketing at JLP? Or is the head honcho running an unofficial fan club? And, btw, what happened to those heartwarming ads of the last few years?

So as thousands of families are struggling to uphold even a basic standard of living, never mind getting ingredients for your Christmas dinner from a foodbank, it’s reasonable to assume that popping down to your local John Lewis to buy an upright piano – also available online at £872 – is not on the seasonal shopping list. Guess that’s not the demographic this ad is being aimed at.

Dear oh dear, John Lewis, talk about missing an open goal.

Give me Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot any day.


Photograph: Yamaha piano by Pixabay/Pexels

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