All I want for Christmas is Monty the Penguin

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Let’s talk about Christmas adverts. It’s the topic that’s currently at the forefront of every festive conversation. The Barques PR HQ has been waiting with bated breath to see which retail giants would impress us and we’ve been spoilt for choice.

It’s no surprise that John Lewis created another smash this year. Its Christmas campaigns have become almost as iconic and well-loved as the Coca-Cola Christmas bus and works alongside it to signify the run up to the Yuletide season.

The star of this year’s campaign, Monty the Penguin, stole hearts and swept the nation with Monty-mania. The heartwarming advert, that follows the story of a boy and his pet penguin, racked up 202,953 shares in just 24 hours according to data from marketing technology company, Unruly.

John Lewis has already enjoyed return on the investment as the website has completely sold out of all three sizes of Monty, and love interest Mabel, cuddly toys. In fact, there’s been such a widespread search for the penguins that one lucky eBay user managed to flog one of the toys for £459, making a tidy £364 profit!

At Barques, we enjoyed watching Monty the Penguin as much as the next Christmas-lover, but we think that we’ve sourced out a few contenders that could rival John Lewis in the race for the Christmas crown:

1. Sainsbury’s

This is the obvious John Lewis competitor. The four-minute masterpiece is set on the Western Front during World War One as it recreates the 1914 Christmas truce. It follows two soldiers from opposing sides as they lay down their arms to celebrate the festive season by singing carols and playing football.

While very much of the moment as we remember the 100th anniversary of the beginning of hostilities, not everyone was impressed – 240 complaints were lodged just 36 hours after the commercial aired on television as viewers described the advert as ‘disrespectful’ and ‘cynical’ for using such a poignant event to sell groceries. This advert certainly divides opinion but there is no doubting the stunning cinematography and universal messages of sharing and forgiveness.

2. Boots

At the strike of midnight, as Christmas turns into Boxing Day, we shadow various people as they make their way around the country in the early hours laden with presents. The reason isn’t revealed until the final 30 seconds when we learn that the whole family has come together on Boxing Day to recreate Christmas Day for a member of their family, a nurse who had to work on the special day. The advert ends with the strap line ‘Because she’s special’.

Alongside the advert, the #SpecialBecause campaign was launched on Twitter, where social media users can share the reasons why a loved one deserves a treat. Boots will then randomly select accounts that will win a selection of Boots goodies. It’s great to see a brand acknowledging that not everybody can take the day off on Christmas Day but that shouldn’t mean that they have to miss out on quality time with family and loved ones.

3. Tesco 

Watch as Tesco hosts a spectacular light show that was inspirited by a customer’s tweet. The Wigan store was transformed into a festive display as nearly one million LED lights covered the front of the supermarket.

Claire Hannah was disappointed that the Tesco sign at her local store wasn’t adorned with a green party hat last year and took to Twitter to vent her frustration. She was then approached by the supermarket to feature in the advert and to kick start the Christmas light show.

Despite Monty the Penguin quickly going viral and being a clear favourite with audiences, there are plenty of other adverts that fully encompass the act of giving rather than receiving this year and it seems to have struck a chord with a lot of people. There’s mixed opinions in the office about each advert and we’re yet to come up with an office favourite but one thing’s for certain, we’re all talking about it!

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