IT’S JOHN LEWIS AD DAY!!
It’s here! The ad has been released online with the first TV screening expected at 9.15pm tonight.
I LOVE the John Lewis ads. I get excited and all of my teaching plans are paused every year. I shall spend the day watching it and analysing it with my students and being happy happy happy in my job; its cinematography, its soundtrack, its narrative structure, its messages…
And this year’s homage to Elton John ticks all of these boxes.
It’s not as immediately Christmassy as I would have liked. It begins as what seems like simply a tribute to the legend that is Elton John, but as the flashback structure becomes clear and we can begin to anticipate what’s coming, the emotions kick in.
And at the end, it is indeed Christmassy. In fact, there is so much Christmas and so many feels concentrated into the last 20 seconds, that you’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a Christmas Pudding.
If the face on the little Elton doesn’t melt you into a thousand pieces as he bounces into the Living Room of his home on a Christmas Morning in the 1950s, then I don’t know what will. He is every child. He is all of us, full of joy and hope and anticipation.
And the message?
“Some gifts are more than just a gift”
Well, it’s more than that.
This is not just a hat tip to Elton John.
Actually, this advert is NOT about Elton John; it’s a tribute to his Mother. TO ALL mothers. (And to his Grandmother!)
Because it is his Mother who sees his potential, who encourages his talent, who feeds his ability. It is his mother who watches with tears of pride in her eyes. It is his mother to whom he looks when his nerves fail him as a young boy at a school recital, who has given him all that he needed to succeed in life… And succeed he did (and does).
And it is no doubt his Mother that he is thinking of in that final scene, where his smile is sad, but full of memory.
In fact, when we see the clip of a young Elton in a recording studio, the music becomes almost inaudible as he sings “My gift is my song and my song’s for you.” His Mother gave him the gift of music. He returns the gift to her by dedicating his song to her.
Because, without his Mother, where would he be?
Now, I’m off to show my babbies this beautiful piece of Christmas magic and to make sure they all recognise the message in this ad… and that they all go home this evening and thank their parents for giving them all of the gifts that they have…
And then, I’m going to price Pianos for my little superstars…