John Lewis’ holiday advertisement using Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by Slow Moving Millie, originally by The Smiths.
UK retailer John Lewis has made a unique musical choice this year, forgoing the expected use of classic holiday music for this commercial. Instead, they’ve chosen a somber-sounding cover of The Smiths’ “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by Slow Moving Millie.
For all the reasons it shouldn’t work, this actually works extremely well. The song written by Morrissey & Johnny Marr and recorded by The Smiths 27 years ago is a sad depressing song about unrequited love. In fact, I’ll bet that every version (She & Him, Muse, Deftones, et al) has been heard and understood in this way — until now.
It’s amazing the way visual context can effectively change the meaning of lyrics. This ad takes Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of montage to a new audible level by juxtaposing the song with images of a boy waiting impatiently for Christmas to come. It’s no longer about being forever alone, rather now about childish desires. But, quite unexpectedly, at the end even that changes; the ad, and now the song, morphs into one about generosity and giving.
The choice to use a cover song allows the ad to be one step removed from the well-known 80s classic. In fact, a YouTube user recut the ad with The Smiths version and, for me, the tone and quality of Morrissey’s voice and the decades-old sound just doesn’t work as well as Slow Moving Millie’s female voice and soft piano.
Holiday ads need not always rely on cliche seasonal tunes, sleigh bells, or carols to be effective. More creative and possibly risky music choices can payoff well, as seen and heard here.
Movie Trailer of the Day: The first official trailer for Illumination Entertainment’s big-screen adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s eco-friendly children’s book, The Lorax.
The animated film, which features the vocal talents of Zac Efron, Taylor SWift, Betty White, Ed Helms, and Danny DeVito, is set to open wide March 2, 2012.
Lights Out: Photographer Joe Capra spent 17 days in Iceland this past June taking advantage of the midnight sun to capture 38,000 stunning images across 2,900 miles. This short time-lapse film is the product of his journey.
He writes: “My advice to everyone out there, photographer or not, is simple… You MUST visit Iceland sometime during your lifetime. You will never regret it.”
Movie Trailer of the Day: Sundance standout Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey gets its first official trailer.
Synopsis: “The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet - the heart and soul of Elmo - Kevin Clash.”
A limited number of engagements are scheduled around the country starting October 21. Check the official site for theaters and showtimes near you.
The Gruen Transfer is an Australian television show that focuses on advertising. One of their regular segments is called “The Pitch,” where “ad agencies compete to sell the unsellable.” In other words, ad agencies are challenged to put together an ad for something like bringing back child labor, or tourism in Bagdad, or whale meat. Apparently they got in trouble for a episode where they proposed a war on New Zealand.
This one is apparently one of their most controversial: sell a ban on all religion. Only two agencies were willing to take the challenge.
(via unreasonable faith)