The advert, which is called ‘The Boy & the Piano’, tells the story of a young Elton John who receives a piano for Christmas and grows up to become a music icon. The ad features John’s first major hit, Your Song.
John Lewis will support the campaign by inviting customers to step onto the set of the advert at its Oxford Street flagship, where the dressing room, recording studio and living room from the ad are displayed. Customers can have photos taken at the piano and listen to recordings from John’s live album 17-11-70.
Oxford Street and a further 14 John Lewis stores will feature giant floor pianos for customers to play on while Oxford Street’s windows will feature a musical light show every half hour from 4pm, with John’s Step into Christmas playing to passers-by.
John Lewis and Waitrose partners will share the advert on their social channels between 6am and 8am before being shown on YouTube and in-store. It will air on TV on Thursday evening during ITV’s Dark Heart.
The themes to ITV programmes including Coronation Street and This Morning were played solely in piano notes on Wednesday evening to drum up anticipation for the advert.
The Elton John aspect of the advert leaked in the media during the summer and there was consequent speculation around the cost of it.
The partnership branded that speculation “wildly inaccurate” and said that its total Christmas spend was similar to previous years, coming in at around £7m. A portion of John’s fee was donated to the Elton John Charitable Trust.
John said: “It’s been a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my life in music and the incredible journey I have been on, and how first playing my grandmother’s piano marks the moment when music came into my life. The ad is absolutely fantastic and I’ve truly loved every minute of being a part of it.”