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John Lewis introduces #MontyThePenguin in 2014 Christmas campaign

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Last year it was a bear and a hare, the year before a snowman, but for 2014 it’s a penguin. John Lewis has introduced its new Christmas campaign – another creative feat costing £1m to make – and a loveable creature called Monty is at the heart of it.

Created to evoke the magic of make-believe at Christmas through a child’s eyes, the spot sees a young boy called Sam playing with his pet penguin during the year. The duo does everything together, but eventually Sam notices the fact Monty is pining for the love and romance of a female companion.

Come December 25, he therefore surprises his Antarctic friend with a fellow penguin called Mabel sitting under the tree. The strapline “Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of” accompanies.

Craig Inglis, marketing director at the department store, 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.”

Monty and Mabel were created using CGI technology to look and behave exactly like real life Adélie penguins. They’ll also appear in an in-store space called Monty’s Den, where a series of virtual reality experiences in partnership with Samsung will be in operation.

A children’s book called ‘Monty’s Christmas’, as well as a series of related toys will be available to buy alongside.

The ad is set to John Lennon’s track ‘Real Love’, sung by Tom Odell. It was created by Adam & Eve/DDB and revealed via social media ahead of hitting TV tomorrow. John Lewis is investing £7m in total in its Christmas campaign.

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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