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John Lewis’ online-first approach

12th November 2014

Many of you may have now seen John Lewis’ new Christmas advert for this year. It stars Monty the Penguin who finds love at Christmas with a little help from his best friend Sam (the human). If you haven’t yet seen it, you can watch it below. The interesting thing about this advert campaign is that it had an online release (which went viral) before it was first shown on TV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860

John Lewis know that their Christmas Ads are fast becoming an expected feature of the festive season. They capitalise on the creation of a heart-warming Christmas story with a relaxing song and social media and marketing campaign to create a family feel around their brand at Christmas.

This year’s campaign includes

  • A whole section of their website dedicated to Monty and his penguin adventures
  • A ‘Monty’s Christmas’ app for iOS and Android
  • A ‘Monty’s Den’ children’s section in each of their stores where you can meet Monty and have your photo taken with him
  • A special ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’ in their Oxford Street store
  • A range of Monty and Maybe cuddly penguin toys which range from £12 to £100
  • A twitter feed for Monty to chart his adventures
  • Links to the World Wildlife Foundation and Barnardo’s in affiliation with the advert
  • Link to iTunes to buy the Tom Odell song featured in the advert

This is clearly a combined marketing campaign but the online aspects are staggering. They have provided a seamless tie from the advert on the TV to their website, social media channels and apps. They’ve got their ‘fluffy bunny’ (picture of cute animal on social media which gets shared a lot) and their emotive story (boy buys his toy penguin a new female penguin to keep him company) and a great soundtrack (Tom Odell’s ‘Real love’) so where can they go wrong?


When we spotted that the advert had been released online last week, we all gathered round the PC screen to watch it and then proceeded to share the video across our social media channels both personally and through Cosmic. This is where John Lewis really triumphs; it succeeds in creating brand advocates who spread it’s marketing for them.

How can you implement this combined approach this Christmas? Have you got any great examples to share with us?

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