Kids rock 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in John Lewis and Waitrose's epic new spot

Dougal Wilson directs work emphasizing company's 'partnership' model

Published On
Sep 04, 2018

Editor's Pick

When it comes to school drama performances the bar just rose a little bit higher.

The latest epic ad from U.K. retailer John Lewis together with its supermarket brand Waitrose, takes a school play performance and gives it superpowers as a cast of kids and teachers perform Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" to their enraptured parents.

The ad has all the ingredients you'd expect from a John Lewis blockbuster via Adam&Eve/DDB and directed by Dougal Wilson (Monty's Christmas, The Long Wait): adorable kids, middle-class setting and a track beloved by Britain ("Bohemian Rhapsody" spent nine weeks at the top of the music charts when it was released in 1976 and another five when Freddie Mercury died in 1991; the ad will run in trailers for the forthcoming 20th Century Fox film, "Bohemian Rhapsody").

In particular, Wilson manages to delight by recreating iconic images from the music video and adding some of his own masterly touches to the direction--like the spotlight suddenly falling on a terrified teacher.

Showing on TV and cinema screens and launching this evening during "The Great British Bake Off," the ad is the first joint spot by the John Lewis and Waitrose brands and is part of a campaign introducing new visual identities for "Waitrose & Partners" and "John Lewis & Partners" created by design agency Pentagram.

The change has been designed to be more explicit about their "partnership" business model, in which all employees have a stake in the business and which is a key differentiator from their competitors. Underlining this message, the tagline for the spot is: "When you're part of it, you put your heart into it."

The film is part of a wider marketing campaign that uses the tagline "For Us, It's Personal" and highlights the stories and skills of more than 100 real-life partners from across both businesses. A manifesto will appear in print ads and will be spoken by employees in films played in shops and online. Partners will also feature in fashion, home product and food films which will run on the brands' social channels. The social media campaign will use the hashtag #wearepartners.

Craig Inglis, Customer Director for John Lewis & Partners said: "Our customers tell us time and again that they love the exceptional service delivered by our partners and that that's what makes us special in their eyes. This change to our identity puts our partners right at the heart of our brands and reinforces that difference."


Sep 04, 2018
Brand :
John Lewis / Waitrose
Agency :
Adam & Eve/DDB
Director :
Dougal Wilson

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