In a Christmas tradition that's rapidly grown to rival the appearance of the Coca-Cola truck, the John Lewis Christmas ad for 2018 has now dropped. Tissues at the ready.
This year, the struggling retail chain has spent presumably all of its money on getting Elton John himself to be the face of the ad, rather than a fluffy thing with a name and a hashtag as they usually do.
— John Lewis & Partners (@jlandpartners) November 15, 2018
The first three quarters of the ad are pretty baffling, as you wonder why Elton John's life story has anything whatsoever to do with Christmas, and whether the whole thing is just a cynical ploy to get everyone hyped for his upcoming film, Rocketman.
Then the last bit kicks in, and you see the Christmas connection, and in theory get all teary-eyed that ol' Reg Dwight's mum bought him a piano that he still has, and made him who he is today.
Then you watch the trailer for Rocketman, and think "Hmm, this is quite similar really, isn't it?"
The connection is not lost on Twitter users:
I’m sorry but John Lewis got totally played with this advert. They essentially signed up to promote Elton’s tour and the Rocketman movie in return for his appearance.
— Ryan Love △⃒⃘ (@RyanJL) November 15, 2018
hmmm, I love a good Christmas advert but this #EltonJohnLewis isn't doing it for me. Too much Elton, not enough Christmas? I get the sentiment but it feels like more of a partnership promo
— Caroline (@runswithpencil) November 15, 2018
— Jake FM (@JustScruff) November 15, 2018
While John Lewis isn't exactly known for its musical instruments, it does always have a section of the online shop dedicated to advert merch (yes, this is a thing now), and this year it includes some £900 pianos 'inspired by' the ad:
However, they should probably include a disclaimer that they will not guarantee you a hyper-successful sprog:
— Sonia (@PetitVeg) November 15, 2018
It's not even the first time John Lewis has used "Your Song" for the Christmas ad, with the tinkly-winkly Ellie Goulding cover soundtracking their tearjerking effort from 2010 (the one where they got in trouble for showing the poor dog freezing in the garden rather than, you know, being treated like a member of the family):
What do you think of the Elton ad? A letdown, a triumph or just another way to make us buy stuff we don't need this Christmas? Let us know in the comments. When you've stopped crying (about how expensive pianos are), obvs.