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John Lewis Xmas ad to be soundtracked by Lily Allen, say industry sources

Tim Ingham
John Lewis Xmas ad to be soundtracked by Lily Allen, say industry sources

Lily Allen looks set to be the musical star of this year's John Lewis Christmas TV commercial, industry insiders have told Music Week.

It is understood that Allen - married name Lily Cooper - is likely to have recorded a cover of Keane's 2004 single Somewhere Only We Know for the ad, although other alternatives have been considered. Universal is the publisher of the song.

Such heavy Q4 TV exposure would be perfect timing for the Brit Award-winning Allen, whose third studio album is due to be released in the new year.

The news will be a blow to any publishers or labels who pitched for the ad thinking that the retailer would follow its usual pattern of using up-and-coming British musical stars to cover classic rock and pop tracks.

The magic formula of a young act covering a classic song has been evident in the last four above-the-line John Lewis TV ad campaigns - all of which are known in trade sync circles for setting in motion the "John Lewis effect" of accelerated sales and exposure.

In 2010, Ellie Goulding covered Elton John classic Your Song for the brand, taking her new version of the song to the top of the iTunes chart.

The next year, Amelia Warner recorded a rendition of The Smiths' Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want for the company's Christmas ad, whilst in Q4 2012, the John Lewis campaign was fronted by Gabrielle Aplin's cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Power Of Love - which went on to become an Official UK No.1 single.

Since then, a cover of Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop by Island-signed Scottish solo act Nina Nesbitt has been used by the retailer for its TV advertising.

Music Week is told that another established British star, Annie Lennox, was heavily considered to lend her vocals to the Christmas 2013 campaign before Cooper was chosen - and that PJ Harvey was approached by the creative team behind the ad.

The new John Lewis TV ad is expected to premiere either later this month or in early November.

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Tags: Lily Allen, Annie Lennox, john lewis

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