Waitrose disses John Lewis’ Elton John Christmas commercial
John Lewis and Waitrose are sister companies, but that isn’t keeping the latter from apparently dissing the former in its Christmas commercial.
The highly-anticipated John Lewis spot — it currently has more than 9.8 million views on YouTube — is crafted around the idea that gifts have the opportunity to change lives. In this case, the changed life is Sir Elton John’s, whose hit, “Your Song,” is featured on the soundtrack. The 2:20 spot — “The Boy and the Piano” — is intended to tug at the heartstrings ahead of Christmas. Big on emotion and short on the sales pitch, the commercial is the department store and Sir Elton’s gift to viewers, whether they shop at John Lewis or not.
The Waitrose commercial — “Fast Forward” — takes up with a daughter anxious to share the emotion of the John Lewis spot with her parents. A few seconds in, however, the girl’s father takes the remote control at his wife’s urging so they can fast forward through the commercial. When they get to the end, the couple hurry off to eat a dark chocolate and orange stolen wreath from Waitrose while their bewildered daughter tries to figure out why her parents just crushed what could have been a “moment” for them all.
With over 186,000 YouTube views, the Waitrose spot is not likely to draw much attention away from the John Lewis commercial. As sister companies, it was clearly part of the plan for the Waitrose spot to poke fun at the sentimentality of “The Boy and the Piano.” It does beg the question, however, whether this was a smart strategy that would benefit Waitrose without detracting from John Lewis’ Christmas messaging.
- John Lewis & Partners Christmas Ad 2018/ The Boy and the Piano – YouTube
- Waitrose & Partners Christmas 2018 Ad/Fast Forward – YouTube
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the way Waitrose tied into “The Boy and the Piano” spot was a wise strategic move for its business? Does “Fast Forward” detract from John Lewis’ message at all?