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Why I dislike that John Lewis advert so much

It suddenly hit me last night why I dislike the latest John Lewis ad so much (oh come on, you know the one everyone cries over and loves and thinks is just so clever? No not seen it, have a quick click here then, not least because they won’t let me embed it).

I mean not only does it remind your average Mummy in the street that you’re rather more than half the ad old (oh yes, be cute, be sweet, be a child, be a student, be pregnant … oh seconds later be a grandparent?) but then there’s the whole happy family aspect.

If you might be in the midst of desperately fighting to get your marriage and your life back on track, a life which is basically mapped out as be a cute child, buy a fridge, have a family, have grandchildren, walk off happily into the sunset, well simply put, it only makes you want to throw things at the TV because John Lewis, life is little more complicated than your advert and if you are in the throes of those different life experiences then oh this ad just makes you feel super. ย Makes you feel even more of a failure for having a marriage where things are less than peachy, a relationship that isn’t as blissful as you portray (yes we got the attempt to do stressed family in the middle, trust us when we say that bears NO resemblance to our lives).

Oh yes, it reinforces the happy ever after myth that actually isn’t there for most of us.

The only thing I like is that perhaps the lady in the advert is slightly feisty, and of course I’d like that, and in their eyes I’m probably the prime fridge buyer and they probably think it appeals to me.

I’d also like to apologise to the very nice lady at my local John Lewis who asked me to take a 2 minute survey … and who looked like I’d suggested the earth was flat when I explained in detail why I disliked the ad – apologies if I was a little forceful in my views!

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17 comments to Why I dislike that John Lewis advert so much

  • Rachael

    >I heard all about this advert that was making the whole country weep, and finally saw it on YouTube (don't do adverts on television). I don't like the song, I don't like the premise of the advert and it did nothing for me. So you're not alone. Bah humbug.

  • Karin @ Cafe Bebe

    >I am happy to admit that the advert did NOT make me cry and I am an old sop for most things. I did think the ad was cleverly edited and I do like the song but I looked at it as more of an editing marvel than some life shaping journey. I kept wondering if the woman wearing red was the most significant thing in the ad. But I'm sorry it makes you so cross…don't be cross lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nova

    >I haven't seen this advert but I expect it would upset me….I thought I had a happy family..then I didn't. And I feel upset even when I see families ( husband & wife and children) out shopping or on day trips…
    Through no fault of my own I now feel as though we're not 'normal' Stupid I know but adverts like that enhance it. :0(

  • scribblingmum

    >I love it. But mainly I love the song and the colour red which I think makes me a bit shallow ๐Ÿ™‚

  • PantsWithNames

    >Haven't seen the advert either and don't really have any desire too. I know exactly what you mean about getting irritated by a portrayal of unrealistic family life. But I guess an advert of the Mummy losing the plot and shouting at everyone doesn't make for good TV, however realistic!

  • TheMadHouse

    >I really like the concept of this advert, but for me it signifies why I am doing what I have, why I have gone through numerous operations, to be given the opportunity to live life and watch my family grow – sad, soppy and rather convention – yes.

  • Emily O

    >I actually quite like this ad. I don't view it as portraying perfect family life, I see it as depicting milestones in our lives. For me it shows how quickly life changes too. Funny how we interpret things differently isn't it? Our own family life has been through some really awful times, far from perfect. But I think for most people watching the ad, their lives are also far from perfect. Clearly this ad strikes a chord with all of us and stirs an emotion somewhere – the power of advertising!

  • vegemitevix

    >I think it's a good ad, but I'm looking at it purely from the advertising/marketing perspective. Anything that reinforces the stereotypical 'happy family' life is going to make me feel a little like 'the loser'. I did the best I could in the circumstances and really that's all I can say in my defence. Hang in there hun. I know life's not all roses, maybe this time-off can help you find a workable balance? hugs xx

  • Mwa

    >First an admission – I'd never seen the ad, but when I clicked through I did tear up a little.

    But then I read your post and you made me tear up a lot more. (Admittedly the ground work had been laid. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


  • Jen

    >That was my first time seeing it and it didn't make me tear up. There was one glaring ommission, there was no graduation or professional slot that I saw. OK, its about home life, I get that but it is still a BUT for me. It was clever, I didn't love it or hate it! Jen.

  • MissSearles

    >I'm afraid I'm just a sucker for any Billy Joel song, its one of my favourite songs at the mo…but Im with you on the advert…not a fan

  • 1 husband, 2 kids (and lots of books)

    >Husband told me he'd shown it to his mum the other day because he knew it would make her cry – which she did, although to be honest, she does cry exceedingly easily. He then insisted on showing it to me. I didn't cry, but then I'm a heartless bitch! I wasn't angry with it, but totally get what you're saying about a distorted portrayal. I'm just confused what it is that makes people cry (when it's not in anger) – what is this advert showing them that they didn't already know?

  • MrsW

    >I loathe this advert with a passion bordering on psychotic – a Bisto advert from a few years ago had the exact same effect. If there's one thing that will utterly fail to sell me anything it's a brutal reminder of my fleeting mortality!

  • MrsW

    >Actually that's not altogether accurate – it's the brutal reminder of my CHILDREN'S fleeting mortality – srsly John Lewis what is the message – buy whatever now cos you're gonna blink and life will be over? aaaargh! HATE it.

  • Notes to self plus two

    >Ok i just watched it …
    I hate it because it made me cry (I am pregnant).
    Then I hated it because it reminded me I am going to get old.
    Then I hated it because the sugar joy of old age reminded me that that is if you are very lucky!
    Now I hate it because I don't know what I think and yes it presents life as something very fleeting.
    Shame, the John Lewis nursery list website did not work, annoyed me more that this ad and I spent ยฃ1000 with Mamas and Papas not John Lewis … that now makes me smile.

  • Reasons

    >Since when did ads reflect real life?! It's OK, quite entertaining, if I was going through a rough time I'd probably see it cynically too but on the whole it's just about milestones isn't it? I did think she could have shouted at the kid that chucks the flour everywhere though, I mean come on…!!

  • PhotoPuddle

    >I don't mind this advert. I think it's very well done. I also think that John Lewis probably wouldn't get many new customers if it was all about broken families, job losses, illness, etc.

    That said, you have alerted me to the fact that I am far further through the stages of life in the that advert than I'd like to admit!! Therefore I hope I don't have to watch it again.

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