Just in time for the holidays, British department store John Lewis released its annual Christmas commercial on Wednesday. This year’s heartwarming ad features the life of music legend Elton John, shown in reverse chronological order to the soundtrack of the pianist’s first major hit from 1970, “Your Song.”
The latest in a longstanding holiday tradition of tear-jerking John Lewis commercials, the 2018 ad opens with a scene of John in present day, playing his piano on Christmas morning. It then takes the viewers through a whirlwind of flashbacks to some of John’s most defining musical moments, from stadium tours all the way back to London pub gigs, and ends with a young John receiving his very first piano.
“This year’s story is about the power of a gift. And how that gift inspired, changed and influenced the course of a little boy’s life,” the company described. That same sweet sentiment was echoed by John himself, who said, “It’s been a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my life in music and the incredible journey I have been on, and how first playing my grandmother’s piano marks the moment when music came into my life.”
And while the 140-second video promotes the fact that John Lewis is now selling pianos for the first time in 70 years, it’s much more than a simple advertisement. As the 71-year-old singer explains, “The John Lewis Christmas campaign has so many warm memories for me and my family. [It’s] absolutely fantastic and I’ve truly loved every minute of being a part of it.”
The ad, which closes out with the tagline “some gifts are more than just a gift,” will officially air for the first time tonight (Thursday, November 15) at 9:15 p.m. on ITV.