John Lewis and Waitrose bring kids together for an epic performance of Bohemian Rhapsody in first joint ad

A school performance takes an extraordinary turn in the new ad from John Lewis and Waitrose, which forms part of the first joint marketing campaign from the two brands.

Created by Adam & Eve/DDB, the ad launched this morning on the John Lewis and Waitrose websites and social media. It is part of a wider marketing campaign, called "& Partners", to explain the two retailers’ rebranding as John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners

The ad tells the story of primary school children who put on a special performance full of surprising twists to Queen’s classic song Bohemian Rhapsody. Their parents watch in amazement and the film ends with the line, "When you’re part of it, you put your heart into it." It is meant to show the Partnership’s commitment to customers and how going the extra mile can lead to extraordinary results. 

It will debut on TV during The Great British Bake Off this evening and in cinemas nationwide from 7 September, including in trailers for the 20th Century Fox film about Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody. Manning Gottlieb OMD has handled media planning and buying.

Dougal Wilson, who has directed some of John Lewis’s most famous ads including "The long wait""Tiny dancer" (John Lewis Insurance), "Buster the boxer" and "Monty the penguin," returned to direct this film. It was created by A&E/DDB's Tim Vance and Paul Knott. 

The wider "& Partners" campaign features the tagline "For us, it’s personal," developed by A&E/DDB. It also includes a manifesto appearing in print ads and spoken by real John Lewis and Waitrose partners in films played in shops and online.

Read more about the John Lewis/Waitrose rebranding and new visual identities here, in an exclusive Campaign interview with the brands