Monty The Penguin


On Thursday John Lewis released it’s highly anticipated Christmas advert on their social media websites, and the UK went mad! It was all over Facebook, Twitter and shared from YouTube non-stop, and so far has over ten million views on YouTube in just four days. It’s amazing how excited people get about the John Lewis Christmas adverts, considering they only started advertising on television in 2007. This year’s advert shows a story of a young boy named Sam and a penguin named Monty.

Here’s a quick run through of what happens… The music throughout the advert is Tom Odell’s cover of John Lennon’s song “Real Love” and it’s set in east London. Sam plays with his pet penguin (who was created through the magic of CGI), they play with Lego, go to the park and jump on the trampoline together; all standard things boys and penguins do together right? So as December 25th starts to approach the boy realises that Monty is sad and is looking for love and a companion to share the Christmas season with. So on Christmas day Sam surprises Monty with a female mate (Mabel). SPOLIER ALERT! Turns out the penguins are not real and they are just the boy’s teddies. Still really sweet though. The message is “Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of”.

My favourite part about the whole advertising campaign is the fact that, John Lewis is working in partnership with Wildlife Charities to help promote adopting penguins that are endangered because of global warming. So fans can feel like they have given something to the Monty’s and the Mabel’s.

Now I love John Lewis, they are a company that I wish to work for someday and their work ethos is something all companies should aspire to. However I don’t understand, as I feel like I’m the only person who didn’t cry at this advert. Is there something wrong with me? I just don’t see what the big fuss is! Yes it is a wonderful advert and very warming and I did find parts of it adorable. But my timeline’s were filled with people saying how they couldn’t stop crying at the advert. There were even videos of English celebs crying at it being posted on the internet. My flatmate Laura and I were two complete opposites on this advert; obviously in this case she was the crier. I asked her why she cried and her answer was “because the penguin was cute and the boy wanted him to be happy”. If we all cried at things that we thought were cute we’d be walking in the streets crying after seeing puppies and babies? But we’re not. So what makes this advert so different?

Dr Sheila Keegan is an expert in retail psychology and The Mirror on Sunday asked her to analyse the advert. Here’s why she said it made people so emotional. “This is an advert where there are lots of little touches which you don’t notice at first but which work together to give you the perfect Christmas we all want but often we don’t achieve it. There are no rows, no unhappy people, no mess and no overindulgence. They have all the elements brought together by John Lewis to give that perfect experience.” To me I still don’t understand the tears but that’s just me. If you want to cry, go ahead, I’m certainly not going to stop you. I know I can cry at adverts because it’s happened before, take the John Lewis 2011 Christmas advert for instance. I balled my eyes out because it felt so much more real to me, it’s about a young boy who is so excited on the run up to Christmas just so he can give his parents a gift from himself. Take a look for yourself and decide which one is your favourite.