Man on the Moon: A Step to Far?

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When John Lewis releases their Christmas advert, you know its time to officially get festive. This years was hotly anticipated and racked up over 4 million YouTube views and 47 thousand retweets within the first day – and it hasn’t even been on television yet.

Like every year since 2007, the British public were excited to see what story the high-end retailer had come up with and what the song would be.

Following last year’s heart-warming tale of Monty the Penguin with Tom Odell’s delightful cover of Real Love, there was certainly a great deal of pressure to deliver something just as good, if not better.

This year, John Lewis partnered up with Age UK to raise awareness for elderly people on their own during the festive season.

Norwegian artist Aurora sings a delicate cover of Oasis’ Half the World Away to the visual of a young girl who spots a lonely old man on the moon through her telescope.

The story begins with her discovery, shows her desperate attempts to contact him and ends with a floating present of telescope landing on the moon, the old man sees the world and ultimately realizes that he has been remembered.

The ad has received mixed reviews this year – with some people saying that it sends mixed messages and whilst the overall theme of looking out for the elderly over Christmas is a good one – it could have been portrayed in a much clearer and happier way.

There is no doubt that it is emotional, but is it just a bit too dark? Yes we see the man smiling at the end, when he manages to look through his telescope at the world below him, but is it really a ‘happy ending’ if it is a world that he is still not able to be part of?

There is also the absence of shiny, luxurious products that are often seen in these festive adverts, the telescope itself isn’t even available to purchase in store.

So have John Lewis taken it too far? Have they over thought this years advert and have they got too big for their boots?

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Sure there’s a good song, yes we have an emotional tale – but there is something missing, a sparkle of Christmas magic that keeps us glued to our tellys during the usually boring ad-breaks.

Last year, the story of Monty the Penguin captured the hearts of Britain and in years previous to that we’ve had two snowmen and the Bear and the Hare.

But I’m not sure that the Man on the Moon is of the same caliber as these.

From collaborating with Disney in 2013, to shooting this years scenes in the same Warner Bros studios as Harry Potter, there is no question that the John Lewis ad gets bigger and bigger each year.

The strap-line this year is ‘show someone they’re loved this Christmas’ which echoes Age UK’s own campaign and all profits from mugs, gift tags and cards sold are going to the charity.

Overall I think the theme is great, it just could have been executed in a cheerier way, because after all – that is what Christmas is all about.


What do you think of the new John Lewis advert? Comment below or tweet us @bjournal1 with the hashtag #ManOnTheMoon

 Lydia Clayton



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