Ode to Elton John in new Christmas ad for John Lewis

Elton John

The John Lewis
holiday spot
rewinds Elton John’s life
to his childhood
using 5 different actors
to portray the singer

The story, by creative agency adam&eveDDB, begins in present day and works backwards chronologically through Elton John’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.

“Think back to all of the Christmases that you have enjoyed over the years,” says Craig Inglis, John Lewis Partner and Customer Director. “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.”

With the classic ‘Your Song’ as the soundtrack, the ad tells the story of why Elton John’s piano was more than just a gift. It was a bold choice to use the life of the iconic Elton John and tie it into a Christmas theme. Guaranteed that you will watch this heartwarming spot more than once, which is why the Reel 360 team chose this as our Reel Ad of the Week.

The making of ‘The Boy and The Piano’ John Lewis Christmas Ad

“The John Lewis Christmas campaign has so many warm memories for me and my family, says Elton John. “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.”

Elton John requested that a portion of his fee was to be donated to the Elton John Charitable Trust.

The cast:

● Young Elton – Freddie Henderson

● Recital boy Elton – Hudson Trindall

● Mum – Katie Bonna

● Gran – Deborah Baxter

● Teenage Elton – Brandon Stein

● 70’s Elton – Oliver Marshall

● 80/90’s Elton – Simon Burbage

● Present day Elton – Elton John

Scenes from the ad:

The story of the ad is based on key moments throughout Elton John’s life:

● 1950s – playing his grandmother’s piano

● 1960s – performing in a school recital

● 1960s – performing in the Northwood Hills pub in Pinner

● 1970s – recording Your Song at Trident Studio, London

● 1970s – performing Your Song on a TV show

● 1970s – travelling on his tour plane

● 1970s – performing on his stadium tour on the West Coast

● 1980s – spotlight performance

● 1990s – backstage moment in the dressing room preparing to go on stage

● 2000s – performing on the Red Piano tour

● Present day – reflecting on his life whilst sat at his original first piano

Film production details

The Boy & The Piano was created by advertising agency adam&eveDDB in collaboration with Rocket Entertainment, alongside Manning Gottlieb OMD for media planning and buying. It was directed by Seb Edwards from Academy Films.

The Elton John Charitable Trust

The Elton John Charitable Trust was set up to allow Elton John and David Furnish to make charitable contributions outside the world of HIV/AIDS. Since its formation in 2007, the EJCT has supported over 90 charities across a multitude of causes.

Source: John Lewis Partnership