The Boy and the Piano by adam&eveDDB

This project has been selected for the Advertising – Commercial category in The Annual 2018, CR’s award scheme celebrating the best in commercial creativity

In 2018, John Lewis took a new and unexpected approach for its much-anticipated Christmas ad campaign. Instead of focusing on the fictional story of a child or a cute animal, the UK brand told the true life story of pop megastar Elton John.

The ad opens with a present-day Elton sat at his piano. As he plays the opening bars of his classic track Your Song (which is making its second appearance in a John Lewis Christmas ad, having been covered by Ellie Goulding in the 2010 spot), we are taken back in time to various performances he has given – from major stadium concerts to playing in his local pub as a teenager.

At the end comes the reveal: Elton’s piano, which kickstarted his love of music, was given to him as a young boy as a Christmas present. The tagline, ‘Some gifts are more than just a gift’, then appears.

Agency: adam&eveDDB. Customer Director: Craig Inglis. Marketing Director: Becky Brock. Head of Brand & Social Marketing: Liz LeBreton. Senior Brand Marketing Manager: Emma Wood. Brand Marketing Managers: Holly Kicul, Emma Rule. Senior Social Manager: Eva Bojitos. CCO: Richard Brim. Group Executive Creative Director: Ben Tollett. Executive Creative Directors: Mike Sutherland, Ant Nelson. CEO: Tammy Einav. Chief Production Officer: Anthony Falco. Managing Partner: Miranda Hipwell. Business Director: Sam Brown. Account Directors: Skye Stoppani. Account Manager: Katie Briefel. Executive Strategy Director: Martin Beverley. Senior Planner: Charlotte Wood. Senior Producer: Sally Pritchett. Assistant Producer: Natasha Alderson. Digital Producer: Hayley Carter. Project Manager: Ian Hughes. Interactive Partner: Simon Adamson. Social Media Director: Lauren Booty. Senior Content Planner: Jess Taylor. Head of Integrated Production: Cave Ellson. Business Affairs: Aleyna Le Fevre, Amy Brunton, Dolores King, Gemma Davies, Klaudia Jozwicka, Lois Edwards, Mar Soler. Legal Counsel: Emma Cowland, Annika Patel. Media Company: MGOMD. CEO: Tim Pearson. Executive Director, Head of Planning: Clare Peters. Head of Retail: David Bratt. Client Business Director: Andrew Darby. Client Account Manager: Lauren Ashford. Production Company: Academy. Director: Seb Edwards. Executive Producer: Simon Cooper. Producer: Shirley O’Connor. Production Manager: Rachael Donson. Production Assistant: Antonia Vickers. DOP: Chase Irvin. Production Designer: Robin Brown. Prosthetics: Connor O’Sullivan. Costume: Joanna Johnston. Hair and Make-Up: Maralyn Sherman. Post Production Company: MPC. VFX Executive Producer: Phil Whalley. VFX Shoot Supervisors: Anthony Bloor, Kamen Markov. 2D Artists: Daniel Benjamin, Kalle Kohlstrom, Pratyush Paruchuri, Shaik Abdul Adil, Dilshad Alam, Uday Veerepalli,Ragesh Ramachandran, Bruno Roosewelt, Kajal Pandya, Priyanka Dey, Rajesh S, Joshi John, Mahendra Natha Reddy, Gokula Krishnan, Kishan Katrimal, Manoj Rajiv, Manu PS, Narendar Kumar, Sudev, Partha Pratim Chakraborty. 3D Artists: Jessie Amadio, Chris Welsby, David Bryan, Silvia Bartoli, Maximilian Mallmann, Kubisi Younis, Andy Steele, Tom Carrick, Ganesh Kumar S, Shridhar Bhat, Ankit Dheraj Toppo, Konduru Achiraju, Shaik Abdul Rahim, Elangovan Ganeshan. Colourist: Jean-Clement Soret. Soundtrack Name and Composer: Your Song, Elton John. Sound Design, Mix & Additional, Music Production: Anthony Moore @ Factory Studios. Audio Producer: Rebecca Bell. Editing: The Assembly Rooms. Editor: Sam Rice Edwards. BTS: Ronan Pollock.