John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin Has Won Christmas, and Here’s Why

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App, Featured Videos, Marketing and Sales by Vaughn Highfield

The Christmas season has started for John Lewis

For years gone by the start of Christmas for consumers was marked by the arrival of Coca-Cola’s iconic Santa lorry – complete with hushed “holidays are coming” choir – appearing on TV. Now though, in the UK at least, it seems to be marked by the arrival of John Lewis’ newest sentimental advert – generally including a child and their love of the snowy season.

John Lewis’ advert works so well at instilling that warm fuzzy feeling that mulled wine by the fireplace at Christmas time gives because it’s largely the first to do so. It does something slightly different from others and does so in a way that’s only slightly weird so it inspires conversation but doesn’t alienate audiences in the process.

Sure, it’s ad sickly sweet as adverts come, but that too works in its favour.

This year’s Monty the Penguin advert – which has already reached over 4 million views in 24 hours – came with a hastag to stoke the fires of social sharing. And, within minutes of it first airing someone had already constructed its first parody.

John Lewis my be reticent about it’s opinions on the matter, but many other brands would probably lambaste the active deformation of their brand identity. The truth is though, having parodies has done nothing but help John Lewis’ Christmas image by turning the marketing campaign into a cultural event – it’s probably the best situation the company could have hoped for. And yes, that is including The Daily Mash‘s take on John Lewis condoning penguin sex trafficking.

Of course, making a piece of marketing content this successful isn’t easy – in fact it’s as tricky as it is to make something go ‘viral’. But thanks to their early place in the Christmas marketing calendar and an attempt to do something different, they’ve managed to ‘win’ Christmas adverts before the battle has even begun.

You can take a look below at a selection of the great parodies that have popped up on YouTube already.

The Parody

The Translator

The Horror

The Charity Appeal

The Dinner