What makes a good Christmas video? Traditionally, the answer has been a funny or emotional message and a smart hashtag to go viral. This year, John Lewis is setting the bar higher with an offline/online campaign centered on a story about a child’s friendship with a penguin. Realizing his pet penguin is lonely, a little boy gives him a penguin for Christmas. (In reality, both penguins are stuffed animals.) With a soundtrack of Tom Oddell covering “Real Love” from The Beatles 1995 Anthology tugging at consumer heartstrings, encouraging to give someone “the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of” possibly by shopping at the department store. Monty the Penguin, who stars in the video, is for sale in-store outfitted in a Wool and The Gang scarves and hats. Those still teary-eyed at the campaign can adopt a Penguin through campaign microsite’s link to the World Wildlife Fund. The ad was initially aired on U.K.’s Channel 4 During Gogglebox and has gone viral since.
In just a week, the campaign hashtag #montythepenguin was mentioned 132,000 times. To put that in perspective, the hashtag for Mulberry’s hillarious hit ad #winchristmas has been tweeted just 1423 times. John Lewis’ 2014 Christmas ad has been viewed 5.9 million times on Facebook.
John Lewis won Christmas on YouTube last year as well. The 2013 holiday video “The Bear & The Hare” gathered more than 12 million views, more than any other brand in L2’s 2014 Department Stores Index.
Overall, John Lewis is the second most-watched channel among global department store brands.