So adam&eve’s Christmas ad for John Lewis is causing a lot of chatter. It’s just that this year’s talk is different. A lot of people like the ad. A lot don’t.
According to the Guardian, “It’s about a monster that hides under your bed and ruins your life. Sure, he seems like fun, but that doesn’t stop him from turning your every moment into a waking nightmare.”
According to the Evening Standard, “This year’s ad tells the heartwarming story of a youngster making friends with the monster under his bed…Moz and the pair get up to mischief, playing in the boy’s bedroom in to the small hours. After a number of sleepless nights, Joe keeps falling asleep during the day. So Moz decides to give him a night light, which when illuminated makes the monster vanish meaning Joe can sleep undisturbed.”
Perhaps the idea of the ad, which is set the The Beatles’ 1969 song, Golden Slumbers (following the current trend of underscoring ads with 1960s and ‘70s classics), is to trigger conversation? But then the full name of Golden Slumbers is Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight. Has adam&eve gone beyond the scope of Christmas ads to deliver a deep philosophical warning?
Forgive me for stealing a huge lump of The Guardian’s article, but if stimulating talk is the aim of John Lewis’ monster, it has done its job: “Even if that isn’t the case – although it definitely is – it’s hard not to detect a shrugging note of Will This Do? creeping into the John Lewis Christmas adverts. It’s almost as if the ad’s director, Michel Gondry, was handed a Marvel-level list of demands when he signed on and was informed that he would be punished in the harshest possible way if he so much as slightly deviated from them. Cloying cover version? Check. Adorable children? Check. Dopey-looking anthropomorphic creature in thrall to the lure of middle-class capitalism? Check. Negligent parents who seem bewilderingly enchanted by the mysterious badly wrapped gift left for their kids under the Christmas tree that appeared out of nowhere and therefore must have been left by a home invader, serial killer or worse? Check. A hashtag at the end that exists exclusively to tempt idiots into posting: “This made me cry,” on Twitter in a naked quest for emotional validation? Check, check, checkidy check.”
Is this possible? In the year in which bravery was beaten into submission more than has been usual for a number of years (ditto budgets), it’s possible.
Here’s the John Lewis food for thought:
Note that it was watched on YouTube more than a million times in its first few hours.
And in case, it’s all innocent idea devoid of deep, dark allusions about the state of the world, or anything else, John Lewis has also unveiled an accompanying storytime video featuring Smack the Pony star Sally Phillips: