John Lewis/Waitrose's "Bohemian Rhapsody" wins creatives' vote

The school play interpretation of Queen's hit is the winner of the latest Thinkboxes Awards for TV ad creativity.

The winning commercial by Adam & Eve/DDB is the biggest collaboration to date between the John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners brands and is part of a strategy to promote the businesses’ unique partnership model. 

It sits within a wider campaign under the over-arching theme, "For us, it’s personal", reflecting Partners' attitude to going the extra mile for customers.

"Of all the scripts we saw, we really felt ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ brought to life the magic you create when you bring people together who really care about something," said Craig Inglis, John Lewis & Partners' customer director. 

TV was an obvious choice for the message. "We are committed to the Partnership model and what it means for our customers," said Waitrose & Partners’ customer director Martin George, "so what better way to underline this than through a platform that delivers on the power and scale of storytelling behind it?"

In the commercial, a group of school children come together with their teacher to create the best school play - recreating the iconic Queen hit "Bohemian Rhapsody", with a climactic guitar solo and a giant silver rocket.

"We wanted to show that interesting things happen when people feel part of something and work together to create something magical," said Tim Vance, co-creative director at Adam & Eve/DDB. "TV will always be a fantastically compelling medium that allows a story to be shared at scale at a specific moment in time."

The ad was directed by Dougal Wilson at Blink Productions and it was Wilson who took the ad to another level, said Adam & Eve/DDB co-creative director Paul Knott. "At the heart of this film are touches of real humanity. Nobody brings this out better than Dougal."

The Thinkboxes Awards for TV ad creativity are run in partnership with Campaign and voted for by the Thinkbox Academy of senior creatives. The ads in contention ran in September/October.

Second and third in the latest Thinkboxes Awards were "Phones are good" for Three by Wieden + Kennedy and "Vikings" for Amazon by AMV BBDO. Also shortlisted were "Every lesson shapes a life" for the Department of Education by Havas London and "Battle of dinnertime" for Dolmio by AMV BBDO.

The Thinkboxes, in association with Campaign, are the only bi-monthly awards that celebrate the UK’s world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms. They’re judged by the Thinkbox Academy – 200 advertising and marketing luminaries who have been involved in award-winning creative work for TV.

Go backstage and discover more about the making of the ad in the December issue of Campaign.

Want to see more great work? Head to the Thinkboxes hub

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV. Thinkbox works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV.

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