Richard Cook

I think it’s fair to say that in recent years, one brand’s Christmas adverts have held a monopoly on the minds' of the UK public. The brand? John Lewis. This year, the department store’s Christmas advert stars Elton John, and tells the story of ‘The Boy and His Piano’, which traces back through the star’s life and career highlights, right the way back to the moment when he got his first piano on Christmas day (queue the awes).

As it manages to do so successfully year on year, John Lewis has encapsulated the nation with their emotive Christmas ad, shining above their high street counterparts.

But, one thing we have noticed this year, is the success to which other brands have managed to jump on the John Lewis bandwagon and turn the conversation back to themselves. Both Lidl and Iceland have used this year’s advertisement to elevate their own brand, using innovative and timely humour.

Let’s take a look, shall we?


Lidl joined in the discussion, by suggesting music lovers could buy a cheaper keyboard from the store. The supermarket said on twitter: “Just because you don’t have £872 to spend on a piano, doesn’t mean you can’t be the next Elton”. It also attached an image of the store’s own keyboard which cost just £89.99 in comparison.

Iceland Foods

Another company which successfully ‘hijacked’ the John Lewis advert was Iceland Foods. Using a song from Elton, they said on twitter: “How wonderful life is when you’re (still) in the world.” referencing back to their Christmas ad that was deemed ‘too political’ to be aired on national TV.

Pizza Hut

And finally, the next brand to join in on the fun, was Pizza Hut, who took to social media to post a video of someone playing The Fast Food Song, that was popular back in 2003.

The brand captioned the video with: "Shame to see the #EltonJohnLewis ad allowed through when ours got banned. We're releasing it anyway. Enjoy.

Social media and adjacking

Much alike how social media users adapt meme formats to create witty one-liners around current affairs, brands have used the social media hype to adapt and evolve their peers’ advertisements to fit their own needs. Adjacking one another, much in the same way that PR jump on the back of news stories to meet their client’s needs.

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