Being aligned with who you are

freddie mercury live aid

This week I went to the cinema in the UK with my oldest son.

During the previews, there was one for the new movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”, a biopic about the amazing Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. As a teenager I saw Queen live twice, then along with basically the whole of the UK and much of the world, saw that amazing performance in 1985 at Live Aid from Wembley Stadium.

The trailer gave me goosebumps, but then came another video, of a primary school show of children performing the song Bohemian Rhapsody. At the very end of that film came two brand logos and a statement, and the goosebumps were at a whole higher level.

It was, in fact, a brand ad. Not just “a” brand ad, but the BEST. BRAND AD. EVER.

Today I’ll share a clip of Queen at Live Aid, then the movie trailer, the children’s show of Bohemian Rhapsody, then a short explanation of what makes it the best brand ad ever.

Freddie Mercury – THE showman

I’m DEFINITELY watching this on the week of release !

“when you’re part of it….…you put your heart into it”

“For us, it’s personal”

Wow. I nearly jumped out of my seat with how perfect this ad was.

Brand is WHO you are, Branding simply an expression of who you are.

This was a BRAND Ad, it totally was all about WHO the John Lewis partnership is, at the core, what they are about. I wrote about the John Lewis Partnership a while ago in “Happy Business“. They are absolutely an institution in the UK, and though they are facing challenges as their core business of being a department store chain faces digital disruption, one reason they have continued to thrive is that they are indeed a partnership. They have no employees, they have partners. All partners are de facto owners of the business.

At their core is this statement:

john lewis happiness

Wouldn’t you like to not only work in that business, but also to be an owner of it, a partner in it ?

With all of that background, I hope you see how  the taglines at the end of the latest ad are so, so true to John Lewis and so gave me goosebumps!

Now, another element to the ad is that they recently rebranded their major sub-brand (Waitrose, a leading supermarket chain) to align with the presentation as a partnership. This ad, therefore was timed to be their public presentation as a brand.

Simply imagine, now, what it must feel like to watch that ad in the way I did not as a customer and someone who loves the brand, but as a John Lewis partner. Now imagine them going back to work the next day, with these words resonating within:

“when you’re part of it….…you put your heart into it”

“For us, it’s personal”



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