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John Lewis Ad. Is all publicity really good publicity?

(107 Posts)
grannyactivist Fri 15-Oct-21 11:28:07

The ad is called Let Life Happen and shows a little boy vandalising his (very nice) home: emptying out drawers and strewing his mother’s clothing all over her bedroom, deliberately spilling his little sisters paints whilst she is using them, smearing the paint on himself and walls, throwing things around a room causing breakages, standing (strutting) on the furniture - and all watched by his mum who sits passively without intervening.

It’s an ad for JL Home Insurance, which they have described as ‘playful’.

Without watching the ad - and just on my description - I wonder what your reaction would be?

Lucca Fri 15-Oct-21 11:32:17

On your description ? I’d say weird and very negative.

tanith Fri 15-Oct-21 11:34:24

It struck me as very odd too 🤷🏼‍♀️

Alegrias1 Fri 15-Oct-21 11:38:04

Well I never comment without watching.wink

I think its a bit of a misrepresentation to say his mum sits by passively without intervening!

Urmstongran Fri 15-Oct-21 11:41:48

I watched it. I thought it was awful.
And considering it was to promote home insurance, I’m sure if any child behaved like that in a home (whatever clothes they chose to wear whilst doing so) causing wilful damage, any claim would be refused. Quite rightly too. So I didn’t see the point. That child made a right mess. Tipping his sisters paints on the carpet! Pouring inflammatory glitter onto the hob. No insurance company would say ‘here’s a cheque’.

jaylucy Fri 15-Oct-21 11:41:51

Bit of an old fashioned way of advertising to imply that your child might be a total rat bag and destroy your house, but JL Insurance is at hand to get it all sorted for you - under certain terms and conditions of course!
Re the mother taking no notice - everyday occurence if you use public transport - mums being more interested in their social media rather than their screaming child!

Galaxy Fri 15-Oct-21 11:42:45

I am laughing that it's supposed to be challenging and forward thinking, it looks to me like the usual trope about passive girls and 'active' boys.

Zoejory Fri 15-Oct-21 11:42:47

I've seen the advert. I love the visuals and the song is one of my favourites.

However, John Lewis Insurance would not pay out for any of these breakages, damage etc etc so I'm not sure of the point.

But I like it.

If that makes sense

And of course many people are now talking about it, so job done I'd have thought.

Zoejory Fri 15-Oct-21 11:43:28


I am laughing that it's supposed to be challenging and forward thinking, it looks to me like the usual trope about passive girls and 'active' boys.

That is so true. I think JL has managed to annoy the people it was hoping to impress.

Boz Fri 15-Oct-21 11:45:13

That's it for me. Goodbye JL. Changing from Waitrose to Ocado!

hazel93 Fri 15-Oct-21 11:46:47

Have no idea what the ad. agency was thinking !
Maybe I should change my home insurance to JL , let my GD do whatever she likes in my home then put in a claim for damages stating "free expression " the reason I should be reimbursed.

Kandinsky Fri 15-Oct-21 11:46:58

Won’t be shopping in JL anymore.
Most offensive advert I’ve ever seen, in about 10 different ways.

ExDancer Fri 15-Oct-21 11:46:59

Well said Joeyjory - we're talking about JLewis.

grannyactivist Fri 15-Oct-21 11:59:18

Now some of you have watched the ad you will understand the question I posed about publicity.

I am the mother of girls and boys. When they were small my daughters dressed up as firemen etc. and my boys had dolls (and dolly’s pushchairs) and occasionally dressed up in frocks and painted their nails, it’s perfectly normal behaviour.

What none of my children would ever have done was to engage in wilful destruction as is depicted in the advert, nor would they have been permitted to spoil a sibling’s play.

Kandinsky Fri 15-Oct-21 12:11:07

It’s the ‘boys can do what they like’ message while girls just have to sit quietly & accept it.
Plus the revolting sexualisation of a young boy is awful - he might as well be auditioning for RuPaul's Drag Race.
But I guess this is the world we live in now. sad

Grannynannywanny Fri 15-Oct-21 12:11:42

The advert has served its purpose which was to draw our attention to John Lewis insurance which I didn’t know existed. It had generous free air time on channel 5 this morning while Jeremy Vine’s guests discussed it.

I was so shocked at the little boy trashing the house I didn’t notice that he was dressed as a ballerina. Apparently that was meant to shock us as well.

MissAdventure Fri 15-Oct-21 12:14:20

There seems to be a trend for potentially offensive ads, the last few years.
Just a marketing ploy, but I don't condone children being depicted like this; we have a thread about little darlings running riot in cafes and supermarkets, and this kind of thing encourages it.

grannyactivist Fri 15-Oct-21 12:19:59

Some years ago there was a very similar ad (without the intentional destruction) from JL featuring a little girl, it’s called Tiny Dancer. If you watch and compare the two (sorry I’m on my iPad and can’t link them) I’d be interested to know your thoughts.

wildswan16 Fri 15-Oct-21 12:21:30

JL made an advert that they knew would provoke discussion. So for them, that is success.

It just encourages me to think that JL will pay out for other people's badly behaved children and careless parents - hence putting up MY insurance premiums.

It doesn't make me think JL is a professional insurance service.

Alegrias1 Fri 15-Oct-21 12:46:42

grannyactivistI thought of the Tiny Dancer ad as well and I just watched it.

Today's ad - little boy dancing around, watched by his sister and mother with amazement. Doesn't break anything.

Tiny Dancer - little girl dancing around, watched by her brother and father with amazement. Doesn't break anything. Except maybe that vase at the end.

The ad agency are blooming clever. I think the reaction tells us all we need to know, really.

Elizabeth27 Fri 15-Oct-21 12:47:23

I think it will backfire when people try to claim on their insurance for that sort of damage.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 15-Oct-21 12:55:25

Out of interest I watched the ad on YouTube. What a brat. Then I looked at JL’s description of their cover for accidental damage to contents, though I’d say much of the havoc was mess rather than damage.. They say it covers accidental damage caused by the policy owner or their family (what about visitors - they also claim the insurance covers accidental damage caused by ‘exuberant children and their playmates’?) and go on to say ‘we define accidental damage as damage ... caused by a sudden, unforeseen and unintentional event’. I’d say the brat’s actions are intentional and if he makes a habit of being so destructive (looks the type) then it’s not unforeseen either. I think the ad is misleading as well as incredibly aggravating.

Alegrias1 Fri 15-Oct-21 12:57:33

Tiny dancer:

New ad:

Visgir1 Fri 15-Oct-21 12:58:16

I took part in the survey /questionnaire by JL on views of this Add earlier this year.
I just thought, if that child was one of mine I would not be overly chuffed! No insurance company would pay out for such willful damage done by a little brat.
Obviously JL had more positive responses than the one I submitted as everyone is commenting on it but not in a positive way, perhaps that was the cunning plan, new way of thinking about Insurance?? Which tbh is a bit boring.

Alegrias1 Fri 15-Oct-21 12:58:22

if he makes a habit of being so destructive (looks the type)

This just gets better and better....