John Lewis does it again with tearjerker penguin Christmas ad

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 7 November 2014
John Lewis' Christmas ads have become a highlight of the festive season

John Lewis, the UK department store that retailers the world over hope to emulate, has done it again with a tearjerker Christmas ad. This time starring a penguin.

The ad aims to remind people how things look through the eyes of a child by telling the story of a boy and his penguin friend Monty. No spoilers – watch it for yourself. And watch the last five years of John Lewis ads below too.

As it has for the last five years, John Lewis has also used a cover of a track by an upcoming artist. This year' it's a cover of John Lennon's 'Real Love' by singer songwriter Tom Odell, whose record sales are likely to rocket on the back of the ad.

UK TV networks are reported to have entered a bidding war to have the first air of the two-minute ad on Friday 7 November – such is its popularity. The retailer launched the ad on social first, and it has been running a teaser campaign using the hashtag #montythepenguin.

Alongside the TV ad, John Lewis has also developed a number of technology firsts to create an innovative in-store experience. Partnering with Samsung, it has created “Monty's Den” and is using Google Cardboard to create a virtual reality world for children.

It has also published a book featuring Monty, and an audio book narrated by UK TV personality Dermot O'Leary. The proceeds will go to children’s charity Barnados.

The strapline for the ad is: ‘Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of’.

Craig Inglis, marketing director at John Lewis, said: “At John Lewis, this time of year is all about helping our customers create their dream Christmas. 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.

“We hope our customers will love Monty and Mabel and they will have more chances than ever to interact with them through some genuinely exciting technology firsts.”

The ads were created by Adam&Eve/DDB.

John Lewis is dropping £7 million on its Christmas marketing, £1 million of which was spent on making the ad.

John Lewis Christmas 2014:

2013 was an animated bear

2012 was a snowman romance

2011 was the gift of giving

2010 was the art of wrapping

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