The John Lewis Holiday Ad Is Here [VIDEO]

The Christmas ad for Britain’s John Lewis department store chain is always big news and pundits love to find metaphors for current events. This year is no different. The Guardian reports:

In theory, the intention was admirable. But this year has been such a domino stack of heartbreaking disappointment that John Lewis wouldn’t have had to do much to make everyone cry. An advert where a weekend dad saves up to buy a toy for his son, soundtracked by a sad cover of Heroes by David Bowie. An advert where an old man sits on the white cliffs of Dover watching Europe fade into the distance, until he cheers up when a cartoon Belgian monkey gives him a gift voucher. Literally just a static card reading “2016”. Any of these would have been a shot straight to the tear ducts.

But no. This year John Lewis tried to be happy. It tried to show us something as innocent and gleeful as an animal on a trampoline, in a bid to remind us that there’s still some good left in the world. Our lives are flat and grey and trodden on, but so long as there’s a dog bouncing next to a weirdly anachronistic telephone box, we’ll still be fine.

And what did it make? A sledgehammer allegory for Donald Trump. A woman who gets shoved aside by an unthinking, self-interested animal even though she’s much more suited to the task at hand. Watch the advert while listening to Hillary Clinton’s concession speech. I dare you. It’s heartbreaking. John Lewis, you’ve done the impossible. You’ve made 2016 worse.

The 2013 ad with Lily Allen covering Keane remains my favorite.

  • Earl

    Thanks for the chuckle. 🙂

  • mikeinrkfd

    Thanks for diversion!

  • Brian in Valdosta

    I do enjoy these ads each year. It’s a nice welcome mat for the season.

  • Silver Badger

    Thank you, Joe.

    • Sam_Handwich

      i loved your cameo appearance!

  • hudson11

    sweet. thanks for posting this

  • JoeMyGod

    I learned about that great Keane track the way I often find pop radio hits – by hearing a gay disco version first.

    • Reality.Bites

      This is where I first heard it. On Glee, when Blaine and the Warblers serenaded Kurt on his return to McKinley. I’ve always thought the guy next to Dominic Barnes (aka “Round-faced Warbler”) seemed a little old for high school. Or college. Maybe grad school.

      • David Walker

        Funny. I was good until I saw Cory Monteith. His death hit me hard, and I really, truly don’t know why.

    • olandp

      I know it from “Moulin Rouge”

      I’m confused, I thought you were talking about the trampoline ad.

      • David Walker

        The trampoline ad was in “Moulin Rouge”?

        • olandp

          The song, it is one of my favorites from the movie. (The Baz Luhrmann version (2001)

          • David Walker

            I know. I’m sort of like Sophia: It comes to mind and into the fingers, onto the keyboard, and out into the cyber universe it goes.

    • Cousin Bleh

      “Somewhere Only We Know” (the actual Keane version) was released about the same time my husband and I started dating and it is one of our songs. That disco version is a goddam abomination. Sorry!

  • bambinoitaliano
    • ColdCountry

      And that reminds me, has anyone heard from our BillBear?

      • bambinoitaliano

        I do not know. Perhaps taking a break to recover from this tragic development of political disaster. I know many people are still suffering from the shock and depression. Some can’t even go near the social media or any sites. I know I had reduced my visits not only here but many other sites and social media as well.

        • ColdCountry

          I’ve been kind of keeping my head down, too. I hope he’s listening to music and kicking back.

  • barrixines

    Yeah all your political troubles will melt away by shopping in John Lewis.

    • boatboy_srq

      At least with the pound in the tank, the bill for a John Lewis shopping spree won’t hurt so much.

      • barrixines

        Very true. And John Lewis is a fairly ethical employer. But here we are two days after a hard right coup to enable the corporations and the one percenters to get away with murder – the same as with Brexit – where they have used the in part legitimate grievances of the shit on working man to give them moral authority. But ooh look a doggy – let’s buy more shit.

        • barrixines

          I do apologise if I have Perdue’ed all over your thread and I do know it is here as a cheer up.

          • Dazzer

            Umm… I actually like John Lewis (although I hate with a passion having to slog into central London to shop there) and everyone I know who’s worked there has spoken incredibly highly of it as a working environment.

            Also, they sell good quality stuff. I’ve bought crockery from them 30 years ago that is still going strong.

          • barrixines

            I didn’t deny that John Lewis is fairly decent. They do have some of the best employee contracts in retail. Nevertheless John Lewis are selling the goods of those same corporations that have skillfully managed to use the mess they have created against us. I absolutely marvel at how the one percenters have sold the lie that Trump and Brexit are a popular revolution against them.

          • Dazzer

            This is true.

          • barrixines

            Honestly I like John Lewis – I like their fusty atmosphere and their Never Knowingly Undersold policy. Also you’re right about buying quality when you can afford it. I am not really a radical here just at the moment I have very little time for any bastard that got us into this mess. Shop ethically, shop local but above everything don’t shop at all when you don’t have to. Coo at the nice doggy and move on.

          • Dazzer

            I ALWAYS shop locally. It is far and away the best way to get to know the local community and make friends – as well as helping the local community.

            And given my finances – and Brexit – Christmas is going to be a penny-pinching one. Apart from buying some fresh veg on Christmas Eve, everything is going to come from my freezer and presents will only be fancy butter I’ve churned or Christmas puddings I’ve made.

          • barrixines

            My Christmases are usually penny-pinching (apart from the fact that are usually spent on the Côte d’Azur – it’s hard to even take myself seriously when I say that) for the simple reason my other half is Swiss and they simply do not have this orgy of consumption at this time of the year. Even here in Spain, Christmas is simply not the balls out madness that it is in the UK and the US.

          • Dazzer

            I’m lucky that my flatmates are Muslims, so they think Christmas is a little weird. They like the Christmas tree in the hall and the big meal – if I make it – and the cards and decorations. But they don’t expect or give presents and only one of them drinks alcohol – so there’s not a lot of big money doing the rounds.

          • barrixines

            I am absolutely all for the get-togethers. I have a lovely American friend living with her wife and their son in Edinburgh who have invited us for Thanksgiving and she has been in preparation for it for months. Honestly this is why you need lesbians in your life – they brew their own beer.

          • Christmas pudding…..

          • A brit

            The one percenters, like Goldman Sachs et al hate Brexit and Trump. The big investment banks like Sachs, JPMorgan etc were some of the biggest donors to the remain campaign here.

            And it was Clinton who was really close to Banks in the US. The richest hate protectionism and love free trade deals. Trump says he wants to throw out NAFTA and it looks like TPP and TTiP are now dead in the water (thank god).
            It’s the only bit of policy I agree with him on, “free trade” is just used to undercut the wages of the working class and make big businesses richer and more powerful.

      • Halou

        Not really, the domestic costs don’t go down, and for all the imported foods that the retailers buy using foreign currencies… We’ve been spared the consequences so far because the retailers buy their goods long in advance but things are about to get a whole lot more expensive.

        • boatboy_srq

          Round trip flight JFK/LGW: $450. Oxford Street shopping spree: $2000. “Nothing to declare”: priceless.

  • tcinsf

    Yesterday was the handsome lad to the left’s adoption anniversary. Abused rescue dogs should celebrate their adoption day more than their birthday. I was nice to focus the day after on him.

    • hdtex

      Rescue dogs are the BEST! This is Foster. I am his fifth and final home….

      • tcinsf

        Hi Foster!

      • NMNative

        After six months, I found homes for our two little fosters yesterday. Born just hours after mom was rescued from a high kill shelter, they went to one home where they can live their lives the same way they started out, together forever.
        This is national adoption weekend at your local PetSmart.
        Adopt a shelter/rescue pet today and you can celebrate anniversary day next year!
        And, every shelter and animal rescue group needs foster homes all the time. The more foster homes we have the more we can rescue. It’s not always easy, my little ones were born with an upper respiratory disease and needed to be medicated three times a day. We lost three and I cried all day, but, to see the survivors grow, thrive and find a forever home makes it all worth it.

  • Nychta

    Thanks. I needed that.

  • RobynWatts

    Thank you, Joe. The first one was my favorite.

  • Halou

    An advert where an old man sits on the white cliffs of Dover watching Europe fade into the distance, until he cheers up when a cartoon Belgian monkey gives him a gift voucher. Literally just a static card reading “2016”.

    If that was to be accurate it should really be a young person sitting at the cliffs, since the brexit vote was very much split by age with the older generation shackling the younger generation to a future they do not want.

  • andymac3

    I teared up watching that advert and I didn’t expect to, have rarely cried as an adult. All my pent up frustration and disappointment just came pouring out. I moved from the UK to the US a couple of months before the UK Brexit vote to marry my man. Brexit was and is a painful shock, and so too was finding out that my only brother was a fervent Brexit supporter and very anti-immigrant. Then Trump gets elected President in in my newly adopted home and I’ve been lost for reason. Got some ranting texts from brother about Trump being the only choice and Hillary being corrupt. I stopped reading at that point.

    • Mark

      Big hugs Andy.

    • Dazzer

      If it helps at all, it’s cold, wet and miserable over here. The weather is so horrible my dog won’t leave the bed and is crossing her paws rather than go into the garden for a pee.

      • Colonel Panic.

        Buy her a trampoline. That should do it

        • Dazzer

          If she can’t eat it, sleep on it or pee on it, she wouldn’t be impressed. By and large human things don’t impress her. If you throw a ball, she’ll look at it, then look at you and sort of say: “Well, if it were that important, you shouldn’t have thrown it away.”

          • Câl

            Neither of my current dogs will play fetch. However, my avatar, Ozzie, will chase a laser-pen dot for hours but his brother just looked at the dot, looked at the pen in my hand and tilted his head as if to say, “I can see the trick and have much more important things to do”.

    • joeyj1220

      I got emotional watching that too, and I’m relatively safe up here in Canada, so I can only imagine what it is you’re going through. BIG HUGS

  • bambinoitaliano
  • Will Parkinson

    I so needed this. Thank you.

  • olandp

    And that wasn’t supposed to make me cry?

  • yeah it’s me

    Dammit. I held it together until I watched the penguin one. ::sigh::

    • The penguin ad allways gets me tearing up..

    • David Walker

      I love the penguin ad. It plays right to me.

  • JoeMyGod

    The Sainsbury ad from 2014 remains a classic. It’s a true story, too.

    • Dazzer

      I listened to a recording of one of the men who was actually there – it was incredibly moving as he explained that they had one day of peace and then – the next day – they went back to killing each other.

    • Galvestonian

      Damn, damn, damn – I’m weeping like a baby – I’m already down because of Trump and this just pushed me over the edge. Damn, damn, damn.

    • David Walker

      Couldn’t agree more. I have it saved on YouTube and go to it from time to time. Thank you for posting it, Joe.

    • Rolf
  • Acronym Jim

    And The Wind in the Willows beasties are the allegory for our hopes and dreams.

    • joeyj1220

      Yeah, the Guardian article seems to be criticizing the company for this year’s commercial. I loved it

      • Dazzer

        The writer – Stuart Heritage – specialises in deeply cynical snark. You have to take time to ‘get’ his sense of humour.

  • Robincho

    I can pleaz haz more John Lewis?…

  • Dammit Joe! Now I’m all weepy….. but in a good way. OK, so I’m a push-over for kids and penguins.

  • Câl

    As a boxer lover, I particularly love this ad (my avatar and his brother are the 6th and 7th we have looked after over the years- all rescued). However, it made me laugh most because my parents have a small pool that they cover each winter with a canvas that is tied over it a bit like a trampoline and a neighbourhood fox has actually learned that if he walks on the cover when he gets to the middle it sinks enough that a puddle forms and he can drink. Unfortunately his claws end up ripping a hole in the cover and the last two winters they have had to get it fixed. We have often joked about how bouncy the surface must seem and whether he has tried bouncing on it.

  • itsmyhusbandandme

    I’m 45 but I now realise my life will not be complete until I get a trampoline.

  • TheManicMechanic

    I love these. But what is with that Guardian synopsis? Any ad featuring animals is likely to get and keep my attention. But here was simply a display of pure doggie happiness. It might not’ve been understood as such by the humans in the ad, but anyone who has a dog knows when they are having unbridled fun. Don’t pour politics into where there isn’t any.