My rejected script for this year’s John Lewis advert
We’re in an OFFICE. It’s clearly a creative environment: none of the CHAIRS are chair-shaped and they are all bright colours. There are several whiteboards with words/phrases such as ‘SNOW’, ‘BIG-EYED CHILD’, ‘80s POWER BALLAD SANG BY NICHE/CHEAP SINGER IN LAMENT STYLE’ and ‘WELL MADE LARGE,WOODEN, EXPENSIVE TOYS’ written on them. CLIFFORD and SCHMIZZELE are two CREATIVES with correspondingly low cut jeans and hair. They are playing WORDS FOR FRIENDS. We see a sign above the whiteboards that says ‘JOHN LEWIS CHRISTMAS ADVERT’.
A piano has been playing a vaguely recognisable tune. CUT TO –
A MAN is being fellated by a WOMAN . He’s holding his phone in his hand, the DISPLAY is lighted we can see ‘WIFE CALLING’ flashing on the screen – he clicks ‘IGNORE’. They are in the corner of an office-party. Everyone else is dancing – we see it in slow motion.
The lyrics of the song begin, we hear a woman sing the line “Join the old and the young ones, Joining the black and the white” as we see a very young BLACK man with his hand up the skirt of an OLD white woman – he is FINGERING her aggressively; she is smoking.
The woman singing continues – it is very slow and very slight singing, the singer sounds like she is probably a vegetarian. We see FATHER CHRISTMAS handing out sausage rolls [check if John Lewis make sausage rolls] out to a group of people not dancing, they are in WHEELCHAIRS. We hear the next line of the song as we see this, “Meeting the need of the hungry is He, Will we ever remember Him?”
Close-up of Father Christmas winking to camera. “On the Saviour’s Day.” Yes, it’s a version of Cliff Richard’s ‘Saviour’s Day’. Behind Santa we see the man who was being fellated being slapped by his wife. As we hear the piano tinkle towards the chorus the whole party descends into a brawl. FADE TO BLACK.
CUT TO –
The man who was being fellated is sat with his family on Christmas MORNING. His wife is looking at him like she wishes he was dead. Their animosity fades as they watch their 8-year-old daughter tear the wrapping paper off her present. It is a big JOHN LEWIS rocking horse. The little girl looks very disappointed. In a lull in the music we hear her say,
But I wanted an iPad.
As we hear the chorus of ‘Saviour’s Day’ we see the MAN open his present from his wife. It is a box of shit. He smiles an ‘I deserve that’ smile. He hands HIS WIFE a gift. She slowly opens it. It is a very expensive JOHN LEWIS necklace. She takes out a hammer and smashes it on the stone FIREPLACE. She then hands the man a bag of clothes and points to the door. The DAUGHTER and SON (about 12?) both jump up and cheer. The boy holds up an Etch-a-Sketch, the display reads “FUCK OFF DAD”.
Fade to black. JOHN LEWIS LOGO APPEARS.
VOICE-OVER (Adrian Chiles)
Christmas isn’t a fairytale for everyone but that shouldn’t stop you spending loads of money at John Lewis.