John Lewis Christmas advert: Fans react with mixed views to Elton John film

The retailer's annual advert is one of the highlights of the festive season

Olivia Petter,Chelsea Ritschel
Thursday 15 November 2018 08:41
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Elton John features in John Lewis Christmas advert for 2018

After months of speculation, the John Lewis Christmas advert has finally been released and, as many online suspected, it’s a tribute to one of Britain’s most iconic musical talents, Sir Elton John.

The two-minute film takes viewers on a retrospective journey, depicting key moments in the entertainer's career, while his famous track “Your Song” plays.

Spanning from the 1950s when a young Elton John is gifted a piano by his family for Christmas, we see the singer performing in a local pub, playing a stadium show and singing on his tour plane.

Sir Elton 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.”

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The rumours

John Lewis has kept its 2018 Christmas campaign tightly under wraps, being careful not to spill any details ahead of the official release.

Nevertheless, it being one of the most hotly anticipated Christmas adverts, every year has led fans across the internet to avidly speculate as to what the short film will consist of.

So far, one of the biggest rumours surrounding the campaign has been around what song will soundtrack it.

Previous adverts have included covers of classic songs by up-and-coming artists, such as Ellie Goulding's rendition of Elton John's “Your Song” in 2010 and Tom Odell's heartfelt cover of “Real Love” by John Lennon.

This year, social media gossip has suggested the retailer is returning to Elton John, this time singing his own material.

It's not clear from where the rumour originated, though some linked it to the incoming biopic on the singer's life, Rocketman, which is due out next year.

On Wednesday, a change to the retailer's store front added fuel to this particular rumour's fire, removing the word “Lewis” from its Oxford Street branch, leaving just the word “John” above the door - something eagle-eyed tweeters, suspect might be a reference to the musician.

John Lewis have thus far declined to comment on whether or not the rumours are well-founded, and whether or not Sir Elton John will feature in this year's campaign.

olivia.petter14 November 2018 17:00
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A false alarm

On 5 November, a video circulated the internet of an astronaut playing the piano to the tune of Elton John's hit track Rocket Man, sparking media brands to speculate if it was a clip from the impending John Lewis Christmas ad.

John Lewis and Partners vehemently denied the clip was from their Christmas campaign and radio presenter Chris Moyles soon spoke up, admitting that the Rocket Man video was his own spoof creation.

John Lewis managed to see the funny side of the prank, responding in a tweet to Moyles that called on him audition for next year's ad.

olivia.petter14 November 2018 17:08
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While we wait for the release of the newest advert, here is our ranking of the best and worst John Lewis Christmas ad songs.

Chelsea Ritschel14 November 2018 21:55
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The advert has arrived!

After months of speculation, the John Lewis Christmas advert has finally landed and, as many online theories suggested, it's a tribute to one of Britain's most iconic musical talents, Sir Elton John.

The two-minute film takes is a retrospective journey of the entertainer's career, while his famous track "Your Song" plays. Well, nostalgia is the currency at Christmas, right?

Spanning from the 1950s when a young Sir Elton is gifted a piano by his family for Christmas, we see the singer performing in a local pub, playing a stadium show and singing on his tour plane.

For more information on the inspiration behind the advert see our news story below:

Lucy Anna Gray15 November 2018 00:01
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As for the singer himself, Sir Elton has labelled the advert "fantastic".

"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."

Chris Stevenson15 November 2018 00:07
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"Few songs are as enduring as Elton John’s first hit single, “Your Song”. Written when he was 17 years old with longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin, it finds beauty in its simplicity. Taupin often claims a good song should never take longer than half an hour to write. “Your Song” took 10 minutes."

Heres our Music Corespondent, Roisin O'Connor, with her take on this year's John Lewis advert: 

Lucy Anna Gray15 November 2018 00:27
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Was the advert teased out last night?

The John Lewis Christmas campaign has now officially launched, but savvy fans noticed that the ad was alluded to in Wednesday evening's episode of Coronation Street.

Viewers were left confused by a change to the ITV soap's iconic theme tune, which was replaced with a more melodic piano-based song.  Now that the John Lewis ad is out, people will notice that the new music was a snippet from its soundtrack, which is "Your Song" by Sir Elton John. 

Though fans didn't know it at the time, the change-up was an intentional move from the broadcaster to hint that they will be the first channel to show the John Lewis ad on TV this evening at 9.15pm.

olivia.petter15 November 2018 08:21
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John Lewis to start selling pianos because of the brand's Christmas ad

The John Lewis & Partners Christmas ad tells the story of how Sir Elton John began to hone his musical talents as a young boy, after his grandmother bought him a piano.

The main message of the ad, named The Boy and the Piano, is that you never know how important a single gift can be to someone, and the possibilities it could lead to.

Now, the British retail chain has announced it will start selling pianos in light of the campaign.

Some shoppers were surprised to learn that John Lewis didn't already sell the musical instruments. Others wanted to know where Elton John's first piano was from, with many speculating it would not have been from John Lewis.

olivia.petter15 November 2018 08:43
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Fans have mixed reactions to the ad

After weeks of speculation, the John Lewis & Partners Christmas campaign has finally been released.

The Boy and the Piano, as it's named, stars Sir Elton John and takes viewers on a retrospective journey through the British musician's long and impressive career, which began the moment his grandmother bought him his first piano, so the ad suggests.

But fans hold the annual John Lewis Christmas ad very dear to their hearts and the responses have been a mixed bag thus far.

Some people have relished in the Elton John theme, which marks the first time the campaign has featured a celebrity of John's status - in previous years, the soundtrack has always been sung by up-and-coming artists.

Meanwhile, others have expressed disappointment at the ad, arguing that it feels distinctively "un-Christmassy".

olivia.petter15 November 2018 08:54
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Viewers accuse John Lewis of 'stealing the trailer' for Rocketman

Fans are complaining on social media that the John Lewis & Partners Christmas ad, which stars Sir Elton John, is essentially just an extended trailer for Rocketman, the upcoming biopic based on the life of the British musician, which comes out in May 2019.

While representatives from the retail chain have insisted that the timing is purely coincidental, some viewers are adamant that John Lewis is "capitalising" on the current media attention surrounding the singer, who is about to embark on a "farewell" tour.

Others have teasingly congratulated the marketing team for Rocketman, saying that the John Lewis ad is "more about promoting" the biopic than Christmas itself.

olivia.petter15 November 2018 09:25

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