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Home / John Lewis & Partners launches 2018 Christmas advertising campaign, The Boy & The Piano

John Lewis & Partners launches 2018 Christmas advertising campaign, The Boy & The Piano


Today at 8.00am, John Lewis & Partners will launch its 2018 Christmas advertising campaign, The Boy & The Piano.

This Christmas, the ad tells how one gift in particular inspired and influenced the course of a little boy’s life. That little boy just happens to be Elton John. The story begins in present day and works backwards chronologically through Elton’s life, right until the moment he received the special gift of his grandmother’s piano that changed his life forever because some gifts are more than just a gift.

With the iconic ‘Your Song’ as the soundtrack, John Lewis and Waitrose Partners (employees) will have the opportunity to share the two minute 20 second advert first at 6am, before being launched on the company’s social media channels, johnlewis.com and in shops at 8.00am. The ad will first air on TV this evening at 9.15pm on ITV, during Dark Heart. ITV viewers may have also noticed that yesterday, as a hint towards the launch of the advert today, the soundtracks to some of the channels most iconic shows, including Coronation Street and This Morning, were given a little twist when they were played solely in piano notes.

Craig Inglis, Partner and Customer Director, John Lewis & Partners said: “Think back to all of the Christmases that you have enjoyed over the years - I’m sure there is one very special gift that stands out above all others. That’s the magical feeling we wanted to bring to life this year. The ad tells the story of why Elton’s piano was more than just a gift and we hope to remind customers of that special moment when they’ve given a gift at Christmas time that they know will be treasured forever.

Elton John said: "The John Lewis Christmas campaign has so many warm memories for me and my family. It's been a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my life in music and the incredible journey I have been on, and how first playing my Grandmother's piano marks the moment when music came into my life. The ad is absolutely fantastic and I've truly loved every minute of being a part of it.”

The speculation in recent months around the costs associated with this year’s ad is wildly inaccurate and our total spend is similar to previous years. The Christmas TV ad is an important investment for John Lewis and is a crucial part of our overall marketing campaign, driving sales throughout the key Christmas trading period. To date it has proven to be one of the most effective marketing campaigns in the industry, delivering an excellent return on investment.
When first approached to be part of this year's John Lewis Christmas ad, Elton requested that a portion of his fee was to be donated to the Elton John Charitable Trust.

In John Lewis's most experiential Christmas campaign to date, customers shopping on Oxford Street are invited to step into the set of the ad and experience if for themselves. John Lewis’s flagship shop is hosting a 2,000 sq ft experiential space on the 3rd floor where customers can explore the dressing room, recording studio and living room sets from the ad, and interact with props, listen to recordings from Elton John’s 17-11-70 album and have photos taken at the piano.The set is just one of a range of ad experiences in the shop that will have customers stepping into Christmas on every floor. The shop, along with 14 further shops across the UK, will also have a Yamaha piano for customers to play.

In a first for the UK high street, customers will also be able to enjoy a musical light show, being projected from the shop’s Oxford Street windows every 30 minutes from 4pm. Performing Elton John’s Christmas classic, “Step Into Christmas”, the shop’s window displays will fill Britain’s busiest shopping street with music and display a one minute light show to entertain passers by.

The advert can be viewed on www.johnlewis.com/christmas-advert and below.
  

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Smokey the Bear Celebrates 75th Birthday with Betty White


Smokey Bear, the face of the longest-running PSA campaign in United States history, turns 75 today, continuing his legacy of bringing awareness to unwanted, human-caused fires in America. Smokey Bear's wildfire prevention campaign has had a dramatic impact since its introduction in 1944. This progress continues today, with an approximate 14 percent reduction in the average number of human-caused wildfires from 2011-2018, compared to the previous 10 years. While it's clear his work has been successful, 9 out of 10 wildfires are still caused by humans, which means Smokey's iconic message is as important as ever.


To celebrate the wildfire prevention icon's milestone birthday, the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, and the Ad Council are releasing new PSAs featuring Betty White, announcing the addition of a new Smokey Bear balloon in the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and promoting birthday parties and local events across the nation. Together, these three partners make up the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) Committee, the coalition behind Smokey Bear and his wildfire prevention campaign.

"The hardest working bear in the world, Smokey, has for decades now tirelessly shared with the public the message 'Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,'" said U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. "And I'm certain that 75 years from now, Smokey will still be active in his duty of spreading the wildfire prevention message – reminding us to do our part in preventing unwanted wildfire."

"Smokey Bear and his friends know that wildfire is not just a western issue or a summer phenomenon. It's always wildfire season somewhere in the United States," said Jay Farrell, executive director of the National Association of State Foresters. "This is why it is so important that Smokey's message resonate year-round and nationwide with all Americans. This year's Smokey Bear wildfire prevention campaign and the hundreds of events held in his honor promise to do just that."

"This coalition of partners has created an extraordinary legacy for Smokey Bear over the past 75 years, and the Ad Council is so proud to be part of Smokey's story," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "Very few advertising icons have stood the test of time the way Smokey has, and thanks to our favorite bear, individuals across the nation know they play an important role in helping to prevent wildfires."

Smokey Bear has only said a handful of words over the last 75 years. To complement this signature message "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires" (voiced by actor Sam Elliott for the last 12 years), Smokey's famous friends are stepping in to speak through him about the importance of fire safety and wildfire prevention.

With the help of ad agency FCB and cutting-edge facial recognition and mapping technology, Smokey's friend Betty White is the most recent celebrity to lend her voice and carry on the beloved bear's legacy into his 75th year with an animated emoji PSA. Stephen Colbert, Jeff Foxworthy, and Al Roker have also lent their voices to the cause in similar PSAs launched earlier this year.

"75 years ago, FCB, in partnership with what would become the Ad Council, gave birth to Smokey Bear. All these years, he's been reminding us that 'Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.' In other words, there's a little Smokey Bear in all of us," said Susan Credle, FCB Global Chief Creative Officer. "This year, we are asking people to listen to their inner Smokey Bear. People sharing stories about why they love the outdoors and how they protect our country's beautiful wildlife — what a perfect gift to give Smokey Bear on his 75th birthday!"

The celebration of Smokey's legacy will continue this fall with the debut of his new character balloon in the 93rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®. On Thursday, November 28, more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million viewers nationwide will witness America's national champion of wildfire prevention fly through the streets of New York City in Smokey's return to the world-famous Macy's Parade line-up. A fan-favorite, Smokey Bear first debuted as a giant character balloon in the 1966 Macy's Parade and participated in the holiday spectacle every year until 1981. In celebration of his 50th birthday in 1993, Smokey made his last appearance before this year's return to form. Catch Smokey in action during the 93rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade airing nationwide on NBC, Thursday, November 28 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, in all time zones.

Smokey Bear's 75th birthday will also be celebrated by a variety of media partners, including Clear Channel Outdoor, Facebook, iHeartRadio, National CineMedia (NCM), Reddit and many others. Omnicom media agency Hearts & Science will be the Ad Council's pro bono partner for the birthday year, providing an overall digital strategy and negotiating close to 10,000,000 impressions in free display media, including specialty units that are triggered by high fire-risk weather.

The story of Smokey Bear begins with World War II. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the following spring, fired shells from submarines that exploded on an oil field near the Los Padres National Forest in California. Fear grew that more attacks could bring a disastrous loss of life and destruction of property, and even ignite raging wildfires.

With many experienced firefighters deployed in the war, it was up to communities to prevent wildfires as best they could. Quickly, the protection of forests became a matter of national importance. To rally Americans to the cause, the Forest Service organized the CFFP Committee with the help of the War Advertising Council (now known as The Ad Council), and the National Association of State Foresters. Together, they created posters and slogans, including "Forest Fires Aid the Enemy" and "Our Carelessness, Their Secret Weapon."

Smokey Bear first appeared on a forest fire prevention campaign poster in 1944 thanks to FCB, the creative agency that to this day is an essential partner of the campaign. Two years later, he and his message were featured on a series of stamps used nationwide, and by the 1950s, Smokey Bear had made his debut in radio commercials voiced by Washington radio personality Jackson Weaver. In the decades since, the beloved icon has been featured in countless TV and radio spots, posters, stamps, billboards, and memorabilia alongside well-known actors and celebrities including B.B. King, Barbara Stanwyck, Betty White, Dolly Parton, Leonard Nimoy, Ray Charles, and Ted Nugent.

Since 1944, wildfire prevention PSAs have run exclusively in time and space donated by the media. In the last seven and a half decades, that equates to more than $1.63 billion in donated media support. Today, Smokey's catchphrase is recognized by 96 percent of U.S. adults and 75 percent of young adult outdoor recreationists who are familiar with him see Smokey Bear as a role model for children.

To learn more about Smokey Bear and wildfire prevention, visit www.smokeybear.com and follow Smokey on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtags #SmokeyBear75 and #OnlyYou. To find an event near you, visit www.smokeybear75th.org/.

USDA Forest Service
The Forest Service is the agency responsible for overseeing the use of Smokey Bear in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands for the American Public. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

National Association of State Foresters

On behalf of the nation's 59 state and territorial foresters, NASF influences forest policy and leads efforts to optimize the social, economic, and environmental benefits of forests and trees. State foresters, and the forestry agencies they lead, are committed to the continued delivery of Smokey Bear's message of personal responsibility and fire safety. Learn more at www.stateforesters.org.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council brings together the most creative minds in advertising and media to address the most worthy causes. Its innovative, pro bono social good campaigns raise awareness. They inspire action. They save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

FCB
With more than 140 years of communications expertise, FCB's worldwide network spans 150 offices in 90 countries, with over 8,000 people, and is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit www.fcb.com.

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