My sixteen year old son showed me his favourite new YouTube clip – one that 250,000 others have watched in recent days. This time it is not a song, a crash or a comedian – it is the new John Lewis advert and it is causing a sensation! It cost £6million to shoot and it is proving a memorable hit on TV and the internet. Rosie Baker of ‘Marketing Week’ said that…
John Lewis’s latest advert has caused the entire female population to have a collective “moment”, it seems.
It follows one woman through childhood and into old age via birthdays, marriage and babies, surrounded by friends, family and loved ones and of course, the entire contents of the John Lewis home department.
The evocative journey plays out to the soundtrack of Billy Joel’s “She’s always a woman to me” sung by the beguiling voice of Fyfe Dangerfield from the indie folk band Guillemots.
The ad has provoked quite a response in the media and by the public. It’s been both hailed as genius and lambasted as shamelessly sentimental, … as I watched it I was having an internal debate as to whether I agreed that the ad is genius for positioning its affordable yet aspirational homewares at the heart of an idealistic, happy and traditional family or whether I resent the simplistic, sexist and twee ideal that John Lewis is pedalling, that shows no progression of women’s lives since the days of the 1950s home-baking housewife.
The concept isn’t exactly unique. Unilever used a male version of it in its first campaign to support the US launch of its Dove Men+Care range. Dove aimed to challenge the male stereotypes that usually appear in ads for male grooming products by focussing on milestones such as getting married or having children.
Everyone is talking about it, and everyone wants it to be their life. No doubt even the most staunchly ad-manipulation-aware consumers will feel the urge to pop in to John Lewis within days of seeing the tear-jerking ad.
I admit that I fell for it the first time I saw it – I found myself with a lump in my throat, as it brought back memories of special family moments whilst reminding me that my life is flying by. I even caught my husband with moist eyes – he doesn’t like to admit to that though.
I’m not sure that it made me want to rush to John Lewis, but it did make me want to discuss it with my friends. Is this the life we all want? Can I see myself here? Oh dear, by this reckoning my special moments are more than half way over!! As I pondered this and all the great discussion topics I could see how great a resource this would be at my next Ladies event – show the Youtube clip and give a three minute wrap-up talk following. How would you follow this clip? ‘If John Lewis is there for all of life’s moments, how much more is our father God?What does a lifelong comitment mean?’. Let us know how you feel watching it and sharing it with your friends…