The ad for John Lewis & Partners was created by Adam & Eve/DDB and features a retrospective of Elton John's career, dating back to when he was given a piano as a small boy.
The aim was to breathe new life into the strategy of "Thoughtful gifting." Becky Brock, director of marketing at John Lewis, said the retailer has no set formula when it comes to making ads, but that a strong story that elicits a powerful response is the basis for a great TV spot.
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 November/December.
The Christmas ad typically generates the biggest return on marketing investment of any John Lewis commercials throughout the year and competition within the agency to come up with the right script is intense. More than 300 scripts were written for this campaign and work began on it a full year ago.
The ad was directed by Seb Edwards at Academy Films who changed the course of its execution when he insisted on shooting everything rather than rely on stock footage, as was previously planned.
Second and third in the latest Thinkboxes Awards were "Can You Feel it?" for Amazon by Lucky Generals and "Crossroads" for KFC by Mother. Also shortlisted were "The Big Night" for Sainsbury's by Wieden + Kennedy and "Fast Forward" for Waitrose by Adam & Eve/DDB.
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 back in time and discover more about the making of "The boy and the piano" in the February issue of Campaign.
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.