British Firm Has the Nerve to Poke Fun at John Lewis’s Christmas Commercial Featuring Elton John

Last week I wrote about the great Christmas commercial British retailer John Lewis came out with this year which features Elton John.

The Boy & The Piano opens with 71-year-old Sir Elton sitting at a piano at home, playing the first few notes of his famous hit Your Song. From there, it works backward through his life, from some of his best-known gigs, to him in the recording studio, and finally to him as a young boy receiving a piano from his mother and grandmother for Christmas. It ends with Sir Elton sitting at the same piano in the present day and the tagline: “Some gifts are more than just a gift.”

Here’s the commercial, in case you missed it:

It didn’t take long for Waitrose, a British supermarket chain, to try and steal the thunder by making its own commercial that pokes fun at the Elton John commercial.

The Waitrose ad features a girl showing her parents this year’s John Lewis Christmas commercial. But rather than taking their time to appreciate it, they seem to want to get through it as quickly as possible so that they can get to the dark chocolate orange stollen (a type of fruit bread) from Waitrose.

Here’s the Waitrose ad:

And if fast forwarding through the commercial isn’t enough, the dad adds insult to injury by noting that he liked the “penguin” ad better (admittedly I did as well).

The Waitrose ad is part of its wider Christmas campaign ‘Too Good to Wait’, with six 30-second ads all following the theme that Waitrose food is so yummy, people will skip and rush anything to eat it as quickly as possible. Once all six ads are available, I’ll share them in a future post.

But to take on such an iconic part of the holiday season by ridiculing the newest John Lewis commercial?

Well, John John Lewis wasn’t just going to sit back and let Waitrose have the last word. It went on the offensive using Twitter, which started a back and forth between the two retailers:

So is this what British retailers do during Christmas? They start attacking each other on social media?

Well as it turns out, Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners are sister companies, so the two retailers collaborated on the campaign and it’s all a bit of harmless banter! The Waitrose ad was in fact made by adam&eveDDB – the same creative agency behind John Lewis’ The Boy and the Piano.

But then just as things started to settle down between Waitrose and John Lewis, a third retailer, Lidl, decided to get in some digs as well.

Knowing that many parents were shocked to see that John Lewis was selling pianos alongside the ad, at a price of £872, Lidl took matters into their own hands with its Twitter post mocking the advert (with a clever title):

but then a tip of the hat to John Lewis for a clever comeback (click on the link in the tweet):

It’s great to see businesses having a little bit of fun during the most competitive time of the year for retailers, and if I were over in London right now I would shop at these stores to show my support for such humor. (As it was, we did go to the local Waitrose almost every day during our stay in London earlier this year).

Thank you, John Lewis, Waitrose, and Lidl for putting a smile on my face; I wish all of you a successful holiday season.

*image from RadioX

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