As is now tradition, the first flurry of Christmas activity has been marked by the annual John Lewis advert and this year’s has not disappointed. Encouraging each of us to indulge in our childish side, the retailer has established itself as the go-to for heart-warming, if not slightly heart-wrenching, festive tales.
But how does this relate to PR and marketing? Simply, it is the single biggest push and success of the year.
Monty the Master
This year’s advert had a lot to live up to – in 2013, the Christmas ad generated over 49,000 tweets in the first 24 hours, with 84% of them ranked as either positive or neutral in sentiment.
Yet the advent of Monty the Penguin generated over 49,000 tweets within just three hours of going live. Within 90 minutes of its release #montythepenguin was the top trending hastag in the UK, and over 97.7% of tweets were ranked as positive or neutral.
By the end of the first day the YouTube clip had recieved 4,233,025 views – the equivalent of 14 years of viewing – and been shared from the video platform alone over 16,000 times.
Why we are igloo-ed to the video
It has been reported that this year’s video cost £1m, but that the wider campaign cost upwards of £7m.
Social was a key element to the success of this programme and integral from the start. Within four days the @MontyThePenguin Twitter account had upwards of 25.8k followers with a wide age range and a number of high profile businesses desperate to piggyback on the phenomenon.
Alongside social media and the ad, a specially created smartphone app, a story book, soft toys and a range of in-store events helped to drive online engagement into sales.
We won’t know the true impact of the campaign on John Lewis’ bottom line until next year, but they have surely ended the Christmas competition before it has even begun.
Enough from me, I will leave you in the very capable and cute flippers of Mr Monty the Penguin. Enjoy: