Sunday, 2 May 2010

"That" TV Programme....

Caught you all there - I'm sure you thought I was referring to the "Great Debates", but no what I am referring to is not a programme at all but the new John Lewis advert. Sorry readers in the US - but you can watch it on YouTube - where I understand that in its first week on the telly it has been watched by more than one hundred thousand viewers.
If there is anybody here who hasn't seen it it is "everywoman" played by nine different actors each one portraying a different time in her life - it goes from her being lifted from her cot as a baby, through her playing as a toddler, blowing candles out on her seventh birthday, at her 21st kissing her boyfriend, then she opens the fridge (John Lewis naturally) and when she closes it she is pregnant (gosh, didn't realise looking in the fridge was such a dangerous activity), then she is cooking a meal for her grandchildren and finally walking off with her beloved into the distance.
All to the sound track of Billy Joel's "Always a Woman" sung by Fyfe Dangerfield of the Guillemots. Why I wonder does it pull at the heart strings and why I wonder has it become such an iconic advert after only a week. It cost £6 million to make, I understand. Does that seem a bit obscene to you in these days when we are warned about the austerity to come after Thursday whoever gets in power?
There seems to me to be two possibilities. Could it be that today's modern woman is so stressed by trying to keep all those balls in the air - work, housework, baby, kids at school - that she can't help looking back with nostalgia to the days when all the woman did was run the house and look after the children (all?), when having a career never entered her head ( or if it did it was firmly pushed back into the wide blue yonder. (When I left High School in 1950, the two jobs which seemed to have the most prestige with the staff of the school were Teacher or Radiographer)
Or is its popularity because it is an antidote to those three awful political debates, where we have watched three poseurs grimacing, smiling falseley, standing on one leg and churning out platitudes which tell us absolutely nothing?
I suspect a bit of both. Just think, after Thursday we can watch it as much as we like without
thinking we have to have a reason for liking it. We can just wallow in the sheer sentimentality of it all, love the background music and - presumably - go and spend our money at John Lewis.
For surely they must be aiming to make at least £7 million extra in order to make the advert worthwhile. Ah such is the influence of television.
And - Joanna Lumley makes her last trip down the Nile on Monday night - oh how I have enjoyed this wonderful programme and how fantastic she looks for 64 (Happy Birthday yesterday Joanne) - I really covet the floaty clothes she wears but the farmer (realistically and in quite a kindly way) advised me that even if I splurged out on similar wear, sadly, I would not look like Joanna Lumley! Have a nice day.

17 comments:

the watercats said...

Have seen the add and it is very well made, but personally, I found it so sickly sweet I almost threw my dinner up :-).. but, as for joanna lumley! she is one of my favourite celebrity women (possibly my only one). She has so much poise and humanity in her approach to everything, she is a true woman. I've loved watching the Nile series.. I like to think the girl runners recieved a huge box of top of the range trainers a few days after Joanna met them..!

Dave King said...

I long ago decided that the adverts were among the best and worst things on TV. You've picked out one of the best.

steven said...

hello weaver, well i have to admit to not knowing about this ad but trusting yours (and dave's) judgemenet i'm on my way over to have a look. have a lovely day in the dale. steven

Elisabeth said...

No TV in our house here in Weaver and being in Australia , probably no such ad anyway or at least not yet. It sounds fascinating though and on your recommendation, I'd like to see it, if only to test my own reaction to all that sentimentality.

Thanks, Weaver.

Phillips said...

I have seen the advert but it didn't seem like anything special to me. It is an obscene amount of money if it really did cost that much.

We love Joanna Lumley on The Nile and I too especially like her clothes.

Not very often that we agree!

ewix said...

I must try to see it!
Luckily I am past looking in fridge adventures.....
Coming to England tomorrow......

Loved this post.
I'm sure you would look divine in floaty Ab/FAB
clothes.
I'm sure your political debates aren't half so awful as ours...........

Pondside said...

I watched the ad after reading your post - it's certainly well done and a relief from the horrid in-your-face ads over here. The Joanna Lumley Nile show hasn't aired here yet - I'll watch for it now, though.

Golden West said...

I watched the advertisement you referenced and thought it was exceedingly well done! I never begrudge how people spend their own money - it's the politicians taking and wasting mine that riles me up! As far as politicians "churning out platitudes... telling us nothing" - I think they are telling us volumes about the low opinion in which they hold us!

Heather said...

I have seen the advert but it's appeal is lost on me I'm afraid. There is another ad which makes me laugh each time I see it - it's for a mouthwash and a young woman is wandering naked through a cornfield (we see her very neat bottom)and as she turns to the camera it is apparent that she has a gap in her teeth. This to me says 'Don't walk through a cornfield with no knickers on, or your teeth will start to fall out'! No wonder goods are getting dearer all the time.

maggi said...

I have not seen the ad or the debates but the former sounds like a good one. I know exactly what you mean with the Joanna Lumley comments - I wish ..

Heather said...

I've just reread the lovely comment you left on my blog Pat. Do make a start on your Italian hillside houses - they may take shape better than you thought. I have been dithering over my allotments for ages.

Jane Moxey said...

Interesting to se a British TV commercial on Youtube! All a bit mawkish to my eyes, but well told visually, I thought! I do hope we get Joanna Lumley's Nile TV series here, the blurbs I read online sound fascinating.You are pretty fortunate in the UK just to have the odd TV debate with your politicians. Imagine having negative political advertising blaring on your telly during a campaign, like we suffer here at election times!

Penny said...

Havent seen the ad, or Joanna Lumley, we may get her later in the year.Unfortunately we have a Federal election to get through later in the year, having just been through a State one.
Love the header, too dry here, and getting too late.

Dominic Rivron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

I though it was a load of mawkish cobblers. However: it's great popularity may be due to the fact that most so-called drama on tv is complete rubbish -i.e., there's no competition. Do something slightly arresting and slightly original and everyone goes wild. And it was so, well, middle class. I'd love to see the Little Britain crowd send it up: THAT would be watchable.

Am I turning into Victor Meldrew? I hope not. I just think that as I get older I get more and more saddened by the way people are intoxicated by visions of what they think they'd like their lives to be like.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I do like it when I put on a controversial subject and you respond so well! Opinions are divided, as I expected they would be. So we shall all agree to differ but it does seem that we in the UK are not bombarded so much as other places with all the political sltuff. Roll on Friday, when it is all over, I say.

BT said...

I haven't seen it yet Pat, It does seem obscene that an ad costs so much. Something wrong there somehow. I always found John Lewis a bit expensive for me.

Joanna Lumley is just fantastic for her age. I had to laugh at the farmer's comment!