Monty the Penguin – Everyones a Winner
21 November 2014 by Marketing Team
So it’s been a fortnight now since John Lewis launched their latest Christmas behemoth and Monty the Penguin waddled his way into the nation’s hearts. In the first week alone, John Lewis’ official YouTube video racked up over 14million, yes 14million, views. Whether or not you like a Christmas advert, it’s hard to argue with those numbers and it’s hard to ignore the fact that everyone appears to be a winner for once….
Monty isn’t the only piece of Christmas in town, far from it in fact, he just started us off. Turn on the TV this week and you’ll be hard pushed to go one advert break without seeing at least two festive adverts from the great and the good of TV advertising. Whether it’s Halfords saying nothing beats a bike, Sky promoting their festive offerings, or Aldi and Lidl competing for your Christmas pounds, everyone has a take on Christmas. But it was Monty who was first on the scene, with John Lewis once again marking the real start of the festive adverts…. Some might even say the start of Christmas, though that may be going a step too far!
Most of us love a Christmas institution; The Queen’s speech; the Coca Cola lorry on our screens; a roast turkey. The John Lewis Christmas advert has now ingrained itself into this list of traditions and so we come to winner number one – John Lewis itself.
John Lewis in fact have many winners – Their profits for starters; The Bear and Hare commercial of 2013 saw Christmas takings 10% higher than 2012 and a total of over £100million. The £7million advert begins to make a lot of sense when you look at those figures. With Monty a real snip at around £1miilion to make, a similar repeat will see some seriously happy faces at JL.
Their social media team is another winner. The advert was released online a full day before the TV premiere and was an immediate hit with over 25,000 online views in the first 12 hours and was shared more than 200,000 times in its first 24 hours online. They have gone on to make the most of little Monty, who now has his very own twitter account with nearly 30,000 of us following his daily movements. With top trending hashtags on twitter, the release was a massive hit.
Of course their marketing team in general has made the most of Monty and indeed his other half Mabel. You can choose from 39 Monty & Mabel related products online and of course in store…. If that is you can find them. With even their 2 foot tall plush Monty toy initially selling out in hours, there are reports of them being exchanged online for up to £500!
But it’s not just John Lewis who stand to gain from Monty…. Adam & Eve DDB, the advertising agency behind the penguins, are sure to have their reputations enhanced and their brand awareness go through the roof. Tom Odell, the artist behind the cover of “Real Love” stands to get a top five single at the very least. Lilly Allen after all went straight to number one after Bear & Hare last time round. Animal rights campaigners are another to benefit from exposure, with PETA praising John Lewis for the use of CGI as opposed to a real penguin.
Think outside the obvious and you find even more winners – The Beatles for example. With “Real Love” not one of their finest or most loved songs, one in fact that nearly never made it on to Radio1, Monty may not feature them directly, but awareness of the song, both cover and original, has now increased dramatically. TV, taking a battering from online video, social media and subscription services, can also take heart from being back in our thoughts, even if social media is where the discussions are taking place and viewing numbers are going through the roof.
Want some even more outside the box winners? Well what about Sainsbury’s and the Royal British Legion? Now you’re probably thinking we’ve lost the plot here as we’re talking about the wrong advert, but bear with it…..
Sainsbury’s are always one of the last to bring their festive advert to the party, never publishing before Armistice Day out of respect to their long standing partnership with the Royal British Legion. On the evening of Wednesday 11th this week, the advert aired on primetime TV and is a 4 minute long epic, focusing on the game of football played in the tranches on Christmas Day in World War One and produced in partnership with the Royal British Legion to help mark 100 years since the start of World War One.
Whilst there have been some comments on ‘cashing in’ on war, the overwhelming response is a positive one, after all, the chocolate bar featured in the advert that you can now buy, sees the entire asking price going to the British Legion.
So what does the little penguin have to do with all that? Well without John Lewis’ advert, would this one have been made? Probably. Would it be a success? Almost definitely. But without John Lewis helping to create the “event” of the Christmas advert, would it be so epic in scale? Maybe not. Would it be talked about so much in comparison to Monty? Certainly not. Would there be discussions with favourable comments as being better than John Lewis’ effort? Definitely not.
By Christmas advert association, Monty is putting a favourable light on the Sainsbury’s production and again by association, other bodies like their advertising agency AMV BBDO and the Royal British Legion. With even more publicity than if it had been the only epic Christmas advert in town, it stands to reason that more people will potentially buy the chocolate bar and in doing so donate to charity in remembrance of those in World War One.
And there’s another big winner from the Christmas advert battle – Us. That’s right, take off the cynical hat for a minute and think about it. Yes they are adverts that at the end of the day are designed to make us spend our hard earned cash on some John Lewis or Sainsbury’s goods but many also wait in anticipation to see them, they put a smile on our face or bring a tear to the eye in doing so. For once, everyone wins.
With John Lewis advert views already seven million more than last year’s total and other such as Sainsbury’s nearly up to 11 million views, this is a phenomenon that’s not going anywhere and already we can’t wait to see what the 2015 adverts will being us next time around…. Let’s just hope we all have as good a festive time as Monty and Mabel, the real winners of the advert.