"It can bring new audiences to an artist": Globe's Marc Robinson on the John Lewis effect

Elbow landed in the Top 30 with their cover of The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers thanks to securing the coveted John Lewis Christmas sync, a partnership arranged by Universal Music’s Globe division.

Speaking in the latest issue of Music Week, Globe president Marc Robinson explains that it is still the festival commercial sync that all labels are chasing.

“Even as advertising and media evolve, it’s still the commercial the music industry actively want to pitch in for, and get very competitive about,” he explained. “It can bring new audiences to an artist from all the attention the advert brings to the brilliant way they make the music and visuals work.”

Although Tom Odell covered John Lennon’s Real Love for the 2014 campaign, the use of a song by The Beatles – represent by Sony/ATV – for the new Moz The Monster John Lewis advert is a rare occurrence in TV advertising.

The John Lewis Christmas campaign first hit the heights in 2010 with the placement of Ellie Goulding’s cover of Your Song (978,367 total sales). There were consecutive No.1 hits for John Lewis songs in 2012 (Gabrielle Aplin’s take on Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power Of Love) and 2013 (Lily Allen’s version of Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know). 

Recent covers by lesser-known artists Aurora and Vaults didn’t perform as well as past hits. But Robinson insisted that the seasonal commercial is still the key sync at this time of year.

He added: “John Lewis and the agency [Adam & Eve/DDB] work so hard on finding that perfect song to fit the story, and tone of voice to fit the visuals, so that for each film they make it’s like a mini-movie. It’s a brilliant two minutes of showing off music that tugs on the heartstrings.”

Globe recently triumphed at the Music Week Sync Awards, winning the overall award for Record Company.

Subscribers can read the full story on the Elbow sync and greatest hits campaign here and here. To subscribe and never miss a big music industry story click here.


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