Shilling insurance can get terribly predictable - unless you call Apeldoorn - it's an ad genre that is filled with talking lizards and legal lines and is more often than not unfun and regulated to the dot. With that in mind, this John Lewis home insurance ad is quite the departure from all that. Our young protagonist here is playing dress-up, he is grooving out to Stevie Nicks while dancing around the house and causing a great big mess, on purpose. He smears paint on his face full of makeup, tosses his little sister's watercolor paints on the floor, and ends his solo performance with a fistful of glitter explosion somewhere over the dining table.
The ad is either loved or hated, probably depending on how much glitter stuck in the rug that you've had to clean up in your life. Where some see an empowering statement of boys exploring creativity and crossdressing, I see a brat and malicious mischief. This isn't a clueless and adorable toddler who wandered through wet paint. Finally, the message that a boy can wreak havoc while mother and sister sit around passively watching it all unfold, is not the cutting edge social commentary that people think it is.
The fact that the destruction is intentional really throws me, insurance covers accidents, not intentional damage. How did this even get past legal? But I suppose John Lewis will simply raise everyone's premiums and make more money, as aspiring Stevie Nicks impersonators everywhere throw umbrellas around the house.
I really do like the line though, "Let life happen". Everyone who has kids will confirm that the dress-up and dancing scenes are a glorious reality, but at a certain age, they've learned not to be so destructive while doing it. This ad seems to reference "Tiny Dancer" in 2015, where a younger girl performed a passionate dance to Elton John's song in her house, almost breaking everything near her by accident. That advert closed with the line "If it matters to you it matters to us", neatly wrapping up her passion for dance with the parent's presumed passion for keeping their homegoods intact.
Ad agency: Adam & Eve DDB
Director: Tom Kuntz
Production company: MJZ