John Lewis’s Christmas commercial: a launching pad in the music industry for young musicians

Emilie Campbell

John Lewis’s Christmas advertising has become increasingly entrenched in British Christmas culture, marking the start of Christmas festivities and the start of Christmas shopping. But who is the singer behind the soundtrack for this year’s commercial? Emily Campbell tells us more.

John Lewis’s Christmas advertising style sets itself apart from other retailers with its heartfelt and warm stories about the Christmas spirit. Key elements of the advertisement include the likable mascots that are displayed in stores across the country and the important accompanying song. The song in the commercial is often a remake of a classic and gains a lot of attention. The song is not only on the commercial, but it airs on the radio throughout the Christmas season and is added to many people’s Spotify Christmas playlists. This means that these singles, in many cases, took the top spots on the Christmas music charts.

Many of the artists who have been a part of John Lewis’ Christmas commercial tend to be aspiring young singers who find their footing in the music industry.

Many of the artists who were a part of the John Lewis Christmas commercial tend to be young budding singers who find their footing in the music industry. For John Lewis, employing an often unknown young artist is not only less expensive, but it makes his advertisement unique. It is often a voice that most of the audience has never heard before. However, by using classic songs in a new and modern way, it brings older viewers a sense of nostalgia and connection with the song, while younger ones can relate to it as well. This choice therefore makes the advertisement inclusive and, moreover, young artists often achieve success thanks to the single presented in the advertisement and can use it as a platform to accumulate a base of listeners who will support them in their projects. future.

Over the years many different artists have gotten involved. In 2010, the commercial called “A Tribute to Givers” used the cover of Elton John’s by 23-year-old Ellie Goulding. Your song and it was one of the first commercials that used a then unstated young singer who had a successful career. The song reached number two on the official charts and Goulding has gone on to have three more number ones since.

Gabrielle Aplin is a similar example of an artist using advertising as a launching pad in the industry. Only 20 at the time, she took over Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The power of love to accompany the 2012 ad ‘The Journey’. He reached number one and Aplin quickly released his album ‘English Rain’ which sold over 100,000 copies. More recently, artists of other nationalities have been chosen to take on the role, with Norwegian artist Aurora in 2015 covering Oasis’ Half of the world away for the ‘Man on the Moon’ ad. The only artist to rock the trend to remake a classic was 26-year-old American Celeste in 2020, as the first artist to be tasked with writing a song specifically for publicity, Give a little love. Although she has released EPs and collaborated with electronic producers before the commercials, over the past year she has found her sound and successfully released her number 1 debut album “Not Your Muse”, which won many British nominations.

It is accompanied by the vocals of Lola Young, a 20-year-old singer from south London.

This year’s announcement, ‘Unexpected Guest,’ is no different. It is accompanied by the voice of Lola Young, a 20-year-old singer from south London, and features a young alien who has never lived Christmas and who is introduced to the festive traditions by a young boy. Young takes over that of Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder Together in Electric Dreams, which in this version is slowed down and uses a piano pedal at the start. It creates an otherworldly atmosphere when the boy meets the alien for the first time. The song builds up as it progresses with the addition of choral sections that seem to represent the blossoming friendship featured in the ad. This blanket is very different from the uplifting and heartwarming original.

Young, a British school graduate, is at the very start of her musical career; however, she has already signed to Island Records and released an EP as well as several singles. Citing Prince and Joni Mitchell as influences on his sound, his jazzy and confident single False is very different from the song by John Lewis, with similarities to Mabel and Jorja Smith. In general, she seems to use a variety of styles ranging from rap to slow ballads. As a 2021 Brit Award nominee, Young is definitely one to watch.

John Lewis’s Christmas advertising is an iconic part of the British Christmas experience. By the end of the Christmas season, few people haven’t seen the ad, and viewers are eagerly awaiting to see who the next artist to be on it will be. For young, little-known musicians, this is the perfect opportunity to get noticed for their music and launch a career.

Emilie Campbell


Featured Image Courtesy of Elliott Brown Going through Flickr. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

Images in the article courtesy of @lolayounggg via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.

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