Will John Lewis’ Christmas effort with Elton John be the ad that saved the high street?

The John Lewis Christmas ad from adam&eveDDB is due to land any day now – reportedly featuring Elton John warbling Your Song – and London’s Evening Standard thinks it has a clip from it here, revealed on Twitter.

Before you bother looking it’s what looks like a Christmas tree, shot on a wonky hand-held device. Well there’ll probably be a Christmas tree in there somewhere – it being Christmas and all that.

There’s always a lot riding on this of course, not just for John Lewis & Partners (as we’re supposed to call it now) but the annual attempt to make us all feel good about a spot of retail therapy. With UK high street sales stumbling JL’s 2018 effort may even be characterised as the “ad to save the high street.” Apparently the JL flagship store window in London’s Oxford Street features space thingies so maybe it’s a return to ‘Man in the Moon’ but that wasn’t very good. Maybe there’s another Elton tune in the offing, Rocket Man.

What else can we expect (many of the Christmas ads have surfaced already). For years Sainsbury’s and agency AMV BBDO vied with JL for the biggest Christmas spectacular but Sainsbury’s has changed agencies since to Wieden+Kennedy (AMV now has Asda). Sainsbury’s has pulled in its advertising horns of late, in line with its seeming policy of neglecting its supermarkets.

There have been reports of it cancelling Christmas as the theme of its ad was a school concert, pinched by A&E for its midsummer John Lewis &Partners and Waitrose & Partners launch. But apparently they’re pressing ahead.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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