adam&eveDDB crafted what is sure to be one of the most talked about holiday ads of the year with “Monty The Penguin” for John Lewis.
Of course, this hardly comes a surprise, given the pair’s track record with holiday advertising. But “Monty The Penguin” still manages to stand out. The two-minute ad tells the story of a boy and his best friend, a penguin named Monty. We follow them through scenes of their day-to-day activities, and get an idea of their relationship through a charming montage set to a cover of the John Lennon-penned “Real Love” by Tom Odell. Somewhere along the way it becomes apparent that Monty is missing something, as he wistfully watches couples in the park and in movies. The conflict reaches its adorable conclusion on Christmas morning, coupled by a reveal that is effective even if it doesn’t come as a surprise.
The broadcast spot, which cost around $1.6 million dollars to make, is part of John Lewis’ overall $11 million holiday campaign. It is supported by a children’s book called Monty’s Christmas, an audio app version of the book narrated by Dermot O’Leary, a single release of Tom Odell’s version of “Real Love,” and an in-store experiential event called Monty’s Den, created in partnership with Samsung and including Monty’s Goggles, an Occulus Rift like technology created using Google Cardboard.
“At John Lewis, this time of year is all about helping our customers create their dream Christmas,” Craig Inglis, marketing director at John Lewis, told Adweek. “We hope this uplifting tale of Sam’s love for his friend Monty will remind people of the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes and inspire them to think how they can make the festive season extra special for their friends and loved ones.”