Will John Lewis' new advert of star-crossed lovers decades apart break your heart like last year's7m campaign uses a split screen to tell the love story of two young lovers divided by decadesTouching advert features Paloma Faith cover of INXS's 'Never Tear Us Apart'
18:51 GMT, 20 September 2012
They have a reputation for creating tear-jerking adverts that tug on the heart strings with a moving story played out to a soulful song. And this year's John Lewis advert doesn't disappoint.
The 7m campaign uses a split screen to tell the love story of two young people divided by decades.
Unknown actors Alice Issaz and Thomas Vernant play the part of the love struck couple, with Alice embarking on a relationship in the 1920s and Thomas in the present day. The pair never physically meet but their stories run side-by-side as they visit the same romantic haunts and go about their daily lives.
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Parallel lives: The John Lewis advert begins with a girl and boy getting ready in their respective flats – but one of them is in the 1920s and the other in the present day
Going on a date: The couple then head out walking on the same street decades apart
Refreshment: The pair arrive at the same building which is a tea room in the Twenties and a coffee shop today
Twin worlds: They sit at the same table as the love story unfolds to the soundtrack of a Paloma Faith cover of INXS's 'Never Tear Us Apart'
In one scene, Alice goes on a date at an Art Deco cinema while Thomas is on the same aisle in the present day wearing 3D glasses. In another segment, flapper girl Alice does the Charleston at a dance hall while Thomas is seen on the same dance floor which is now a jumping night club.
Another scene emphasises how technology has moved on with Alice working at a telephone exchange and using pen and paper to write, while Thomas has a flat screen TV in his home and uses a tablet device to send messages.
Saturday night at the movies: The couple, played by Alice Issaz and Thomas Vernant, are seen outside the same cinema
Times have changed: In the modern day, the audience watch the film with 3D glasses
Touching: Their hands come tantalisingly close – even though they are separated by nearly ninety years
The story plays out as if the pair have had a argument and then realise the error of their ways. They send an apology before running to the same location to be reunited and walk into the same building side-by-side as a message appears on the screen – 'what's important doesn't change' – followed by John Lewis' slogan 'never knowing undersold since 1925.'
The company said they hope the advert proves that 'while many aspects of our lives today are
different to how they were almost 100 years ago, the really important
things haven't changed at all', since John Lewis started trading in 1925.
Pedal power: They then go for a bike ride in the 7m campaign that was shot in Prague
Brushstrokes: At a gallery, Alice views a watercolour painting while Thomas looks at a contemporary piece
Flapper girl: Alice does the Charleston at a dance hall while Thomas is at a jumping night club
Technological advances: A telephone exchange is used in the Twenties while in the modern day, messages are sent via a tablet device
Anna Braithwaite, a marketing manager at John Lewis, said the advert, shot in Prague under the direction of Ringan Ledwidge, has 'got to be one of the biggest shoots we've ever worked
She added: 'The fact we have this split screen with half in the 1920s and
half in the modern day has provided twice the challenge for us.'
John Lewis' director of marketing, Craig Inglis, added: 'When I saw the script, I thought it was a beautiful, enduring love
story but told in a really innovative way.'
As in their previous advertising campaigns, the soundtrack is a key element in telling the story.
Trouble in paradise: The couple appear to have an argument…
… with Thomas looking hurt and confused as his true love storms off
Please forgive me: They then realise the error of their ways with Alice writing an apology with pen and paper and Thomas sending a message via his tablet
For this year's campaign, British singer-songwriter Paloma Faith is the vocalist with a soulful cover of INXS's 1988 hit 'Never Tear Us Apart'. The single will be released this week and Paloma will be hoping the John Lewis effect will have the magic touch on sales that previous artists on their campaigns have enjoyed.
According to the Telegraph, John Lewis have been directly responsible for the sale of 1.04 million singles that have been used in its adverts since 2009.
This includes Ellie Goulding's cover of Elton John's 'Your Song' which shot to number one after it featured in their 2010 Christmas advert. She went on to perform the song at the wedding reception of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as the couple had their first dance as man and wife.
Reconciliation: The couple run to the same spot
'What's important doesn't change': The advert aims to show that while times have moved on, human relationships are still the same
Appealing to early Christmas shoppers: 'Never knowing undersold' is the slogan of the campaign, which will be followed in seven weeks by John Lewis' 2012 festive campaign
Also in 2010, Fyfe Dangerfield climbed into the top ten with his cover of Billy Joel’s classic 'Always A Woman To Me' after it was used in the High Street brand's touching advert which showed a woman on the path of life from childhood to becoming a wife, mother and grandmother.
But with their 2012 autumn advert, John Lewis had the hard act of following their 2011 Christmas advert that could reduce people to tears by just thinking about it. The advert featured a little boy desperately waiting for Christmas because he was so excited about giving a gift to his parents.
The advert featured a moving cover of The Smiths 'Please, please, please let me get what I want', by the then unknown Amelia Warner, AKA Slow Moving Millie. Her version reached number 31 while The Smiths also re-entered the charts as people rushed to download the original.
She's got soul: A cover by British singer Paloma Faith features in the new ad
But John Lewis needn't have worried about their latest advert failing to live up to expectations as it has been heaped with praise on Twitter after it debuted on television this week.
June Hurst tweeted 'another tour de force! Love it', while Stevie Johnson said, 'absolutely love the new John Lewis advert. 'What's important doesn't change.' Makes me feel all warm inside.'
'No teenage icon' @Tanyelala added: 'I want to hug the creators of every John Lewis advert.'
Although John Lewis will be hoping their current advert will pull in early Christmas shoppers, the parallel lives love story is not their festive advert for 2012.
This has already been filmed in New Zealand and will air in seven week's time – so get the hankies ready.
TEAR-JERKERS: JOHN LEWIS' PREVIOUS ADVERTISING HITS
Delightful: Last Christmas little Lewis McGowan brought a tear to everyone's eye as the little boy desperately waiting for Christmas day…
Counting down the days: The ad featured a cover of The Smiths 'Please, please, let me get what I want'
Touching: The twist at the end was that Lewis was waiting to give his parents a gift
Journey of life: The 2010 advert began with a little girl celebrating her birthday
Milestones: Viewers watched her grow up to marry…
… and become a mother, then grandmother to the soundtrack of 'Always A Woman to Me', a cover of Billy Joel's hit by Fyfe Dangerfield
Number one hit: Ellie Goulding performed a gig at the department store's Oxford Street branch after her cover of Elton John's Your Song featured in their 2010 Christmas ad
Click to watch the new advert below…
Click to watch behind the scenes on the advert shoot below…