Hot on the heels of the John Lewis and Marks and Spencer Christmas adverts, Topshop are set to unveil their latest festive offering.
However, whilst other retailers have stuck with traditional festive themes centred on family gatherings and stories from children’s literature, Topshop are taking a more historical angle to tie in their campaign with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
According to a company press release, “The brutal murder of JFK in November 1963 is an event etched onto the face of history. It seemed like the logical step in this anniversary year to use our winter campaign to celebrate the common values of family, strength and effortless fashion that are exemplified by both the Kennedy family and also Topshop”.
Featuring the strapline “You will always remember where you were this Christmas” the advert, which cost £3m to make, introduces the new winter clothing range throughout a mini movie based around that fateful day in Dallas.
Using a blend of newly shot scenes and original footage, British supermodel Candice Burgh-White stars as Jackie Kennedy, spliced into archive footage using CGI techniques. Telling the story of that fateful day and its aftermath, Burgh-White models a range of items throughout the 2 minute mini movie, from sporting the ‘Everyday Mum’ Maxi Dress on touchdown at Dallas Love Field Airport on the morning of 22 November through to the final scenes at Arlington National Cemetery, where she showcases the more glamorous ‘Classic Little Black Dress’ range.
A spokesperson for the Kennedy family, who have admitted that they are unable to prevent the public use of JFK’s image, described the advert as “a fucking disgrace”, but added that, “at least it’s not got a god-awful Keane song on it”.
Responding to accusations that the advert is in poor taste a spokesperson for Topshop said, “The advert does not present gratuitous violence. For example, at the moment of death, rather than showing pieces of brain and skull fragments exploding, the camera pans over and very much focuses on Jackie’s outfit, emphasising the classic but modern tailoring that makes this winter’s range both stylish and affordable”.
The advert, which features Emeli Sandé’s cover of East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’, will premiere on ITV tonight during Emmerdale Farm.