Alright. Lemme just set the record straight here.
I have been an Elton John fan since the Bob the Builder episode where a little clay figurine played Crocodile Rock to save the Christmas.
That’s right. Y’all think I’m kidding. I will however, call myself a born-again Elton John fan, since Justin Bieber really came in and stole my heart from the ages of 10 to well, now…
Anyways, a little way down the road, and I vividly remember sitting in my Grandma’s kitchen, with my Grandpa (We call him Bumpa) and lone behold, Crocodile Rock came on
Flash forward to 2018…John Lewis & partners released their holiday ad: The Boy and the Piano….all centered around the one, the only Elton John receiving his very first piano. As an advertising major and commercial enthusiast, the holiday ads are almost better than the Christmas specials. Coming off of a week of finals, one of my favorite parts about coming home is getting to sit down with a cup of peppermint coffee, catch up with my family, and watch the Christmas specials and commercials. This ad, however, stopped me my tracks, and I was immediately infatuated. I ended up rewinding it 3 times, just to admire the beautiful transitions and cinematography. Take a look for yourself, and tell me that it is not one of the best Christmas
The commercial starts off with John slowly humming the beginning verse of Your Song, and as the song picks up in tempo, we as viewers are whisked back into time to follow the life and career of Sir Elton John. We see him on his final tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road, to him performing in the ’90s, to his iconic Live Aid performance of Rocketman. Finally, we see a young (barely 4 years old) Elton John receives his very first piano on Christmas Morning *cue tears*. The ad concludes with the tagline, “Some gifts are more than
Boom. Now that is what I call a MAGICAL holiday commercial.
First and foremost, to say this ad is effective is an understatement. From the cinematography to the raw tagline, it is almost impossible to not feel moved after watching it. The commercial successfully reminds individuals about the importance and influence that a gift has. From an advertising and retail standpoint, this ad is right on the money (no pun intended, hahaha), but from a human perspective, this ad makes you have that warm fuzzy feeling that leaves you smiling for days.
Later in May of 2019, Rocketman was released, which follows the life and early years of Elton John and his career. The film’s producer was in fact, David Furnish, who is John’s husband in real life. Another beautifully crafted piece that shows the parts of his life, that isn’t exactly prime material for a feel-good Christmas commercial, but yet fully encapsulates the rock-and-roll life of $ex, money, drugs and the quest for self-identity that John encountered in his early career. I have seen this movie twice, and basically, have bribed my friends (or honestly anyone that wants to come) to come to see it with me. It is another cinematically beautiful piece that has so many underlying tones and metaphors that each time I view it, I leave the theater with a different perspective of John’s life and career, while also having I’m Still Standing in my head for 3 days straight.
ps. I am not one to suggest going to the movies, because I normally find it ~so unproductive~ to sit in a dark room for 2 hours, but I can wholeheartedly state that this movie is worth your time (plus sneak some snacks in and have yourself a TIME!)
Do yourself a favor and fall back in love with the whimsical world of Elton John.
I promise you won’t regret it.
sarah noelle bhalla