The Use of Music in John Lewis Ads

So according to John Lewis, if you give your kid a piano, they’ll grow up to be Elton John. Did I get that right?

The John Lewis ad has weirdly become a ‘run up to Christmas’ tradition that leaves everyone who watches it either really sad or angry. It’s strange because it feels like the whole nation is under a spell at this time of year, like something you’d see in a dodgy Doctor Who episode.

I suppose me too. So let’s talk about it. Hey, it’s music related.

Last year we had  the ad using a somber cover ’Golden Slumbers to help sell lamps, before that an ad using a somber cover of One Day I’ll Fly Away to sell a trampoline and before that an ad using a somber cover of ‘half the world away’  to sell, I dunno know, what else is middle class, Telescopes?

So we get the idea, and this year it’s Elton John’s turn with his very somber love song ‘Your Song’ to sell Pianos. Bloody Pianos!

So why Elton John? Could have easily have been given a guitar and turned out to be Brian May (although I think he built that with his Dad and I don’t wanna give them another idea for an emotion to sell). Let’s not forget Elton has a biography film out soon and as much as John Lewis say they’re not affiliated with it, it has to help keep him name trending.

Any of Elton John’s songs could have been chosen but they went with ‘Your Song’. He even has a Christmas song called ‘Step into Christmas’ which would have also worked as a metaphor for ‘Stepping into John Lewis’.

But ‘Your Song’ is more intimate. It’s the song you play on your piano that’s passed down to your family. It’s all about the togetherness, the family, the feels.

And Elton feels. It’s such a sad reflective look at the end which is definitely not about regretting that snickers advert he did recently.

It’s reflecting on John Lewis’s Christmas message of how ‘some gifts can be more than just a gift’. I mean I get it, they’re referring to stuff like family watches and stuff like that which get passed down through generations but who the hell has the money or the space for a bloody piano? It’s a big ask! As if anyone is popping into John Lewis and is by the till, spots a piano and thinks ‘oh yeah, little johnny would love a piano’. Little johnny doesn’t want a piano.

I mean just look at the expression of the kid on the website, he doesn’t look happy, he wanted A Nintendo Switch to play fortnite with his mates.

Anyway. It’s obviously a nice message but let’s not get too sentimental here, we all know the prime objective of this ad and every Christmas ad like it  is to get us to buy their stuff.

They use these type of songs because they want us to feel warm, cosy and thinking about Christmas, specifically spending at Christmas.

Next year let’s all hope for something different, how about Metallica’s Enter Sandman to sell ouija boards?



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