The Man on the Moon
The most anticipated holiday ad of the year is finally here! UK department store John Lewis released their 2015 holiday ad today, “The Man on the Moon.” Over the past few years John Lewis has made a reputation for themselves for producing the most highly memorable holiday ad campaigns, and this year is no different.
“Man on the Moon” portrays the story of a little girl named Lily, who’s favorite past time is staring through her telescope, which can also be purchased at John Lewis I might add. During her explorations, she spots an old man with worn and tethered clothing, living alone in a tiny shed on the moon. She makes every attempt to contact the old man. Waving her arms, throwing a paper airplane, attaching a message to an arrow, all to no success. Then on Christmas morning, we see a package attached to some helium balloons land at the feet of the old man. It’s a present from Lily, a telescope, that he can use to spot her back on Earth. He then sheds a tear of joy! Setting aside the huge liberties taken with the laws of astrophysics, and the open ended story of how and why this man is on the moon, it is a very touching and heart-felt 2 minute film.
The admittedly £1 million production was produced by ad agency Adam&Eve/DBB. A further £6 million was spent on air time. It was mostly filmed in Warner Brothers studios in Hertfordshire. Most of John Lewis’s filming budget was spent recreating the moons surface in Warner Brothers studios in July. They used 10 tons of bentonite and 100 kilos of pumice stone. The rocks are made of polystyrene and coated in plaster of Paris. The entire production took three weeks to film.
It appears that the winning formula that John Lewis uses in their ad campaigns is that they do not contain any speaking roles, cast adorable children, their main plot is focused around giving rather than receiving, and they commission an up-and-coming singer to cover a well known pop track. The featured song in this year’s production is called “Half the World Away” by Oasis. It is covered by Aurora, a 19-year-old Norwegian singer.
Head of brand marketing at John Lewis, Rachel Swift says there is now a house style to the adverts, which she doesn’t want to change. “It is has become part of our handwriting as a brand. It’s about storytelling through music and emotion. The sentiment behind that hasn’t changed – and that is quite intentional. The strategy behind our campaigns is always about thoughtful gifting.”