Man on the Moon - Isn't There a Happier Ending?
I try not to get too deep and contemplative on my blog. It's not really the place. But I saw the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert this morning, and was left feeling sad and disappointed.
Over recent years John Lewis have done an amazing job tugging on the heart strings of all who watch their ads. Remember the excitement of the little boy in last year's ad when his penguin got a friend? Or the hare and the bear from the previous year? Or the snowman from the year before that?
I clicked a link on Twitter this morning and started watching the 2015 advert, #ManOnTheMoon. Here it is:
Surely there's a better ending?
Sadly, unlike previous years, I was left feeling sad - not happy, excited and full of anticipation. I get that the man is alone - and the girl wants to give him something at Christmas so he can feel part of all that's going on, but I'm still left feeling sad. There's so much more she/her family could do!
Why do I feel sad?
Well, for me it's all wrapped up in the ending. What would have made more sense to me, would be to have the old man appear at the door of the house and join in with the Christmas party and receive his gift in person.
Perhaps he could have been the girl's grandad - they're close, but he lives far away and managed the make the journey to see her at Christmas this year. Perhaps he's a friendly neighbour who's told her about the man in the moon before - she remembers the stories and imagine's him being the man on the moon.
Instead of a warm home-coming, the advert ends with the old man still on the moon. Stuck. He's detached from the warmth of the home, the family - the community he can see through his telescope. Ok, so he's got a nice new telescope - but to me that only exacerbates his sadness. He can see all that's going on, but has no way of joining in.
Maybe I've read too much into it...
Perhaps I've gone over the top. Or perhaps this was how I was supposed to feel. Perhaps John Lewis was us to quickly rush down to their stores and buy lots of nice things for people we see, but never really get to know.
I don't think so.
Surely it's more important that we invite those with no-one or nothing to be part of our lives - not give them gifts but leave them on the extremeties of society. Of course, John Lewis is a shop - they're business is based on selling things. But I think they've given the wrong impression of what being a good neighbour is really about.
Maybe this is just my perception - I'd be delighted to hear what you think about the advert too. And I'm sure that's what the advertisers really want - a talking point, a conversation starter, so we all head into the Christmas period with John Lewis ringing in our ears.
In that case, perhaps the ad has done it's job, however sad it makes us feel.