John Lewis Monty’s Christmas campaign

John Lewis the British shopping chain is running “Monty’s Christmas”, an integrated advertising campaign featuring a boy and his pet Adelie penguin. The TV advert shows Sam and his penguin friend Monty doing everything together, from hide and seek to football. However as the winter months draw in, Sam begins to notice that Monty is sad and realises that he is longing for a companion. Knowing his friend so well, on Christmas Day Sam gives Monty the gift he has been dreaming of – a new penguin friend called Mabel. “Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of”. Fans can check out the campaign online at johnlewis.com, and follow Monty and Mabel on Twitter @Montythepenguin and @Mabelthepenguin.

John Lewis Monty's Christmas

Background

The advert launched on the retailer’s social media channels on Thursday 6th November and then featured on TV for the first time on Friday 7th November during the first advert break in Gogglebox on Channel 4. This followed a teaser campaign using #MontyThePenguin, on digital outdoor advertising sites and on Channel 4, where the broadcaster’s dents have been transformed to feature Monty.

John Lewis Channel 4 Monty's Christmas
John Lewis Monty's Christmas Penguin and Birds
John Lewis Monty's Christmas Feeding

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.”

This message will be amplified beyond the TV campaign through an in-store space called Monty’s Den. In partnership with Samsung, Monty’s Den uses a series of technology-firsts to harness the power of children’s imagination. This includes ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’ which enables children to bring their favourite toys to life through innovative Microsoft technology and ‘Monty’s Goggles’, which use Google Cardboard to allow children to enter a 360o virtual world and interact with Sam and Monty. During the campaign, children will also be able to create their very own Monty Christmas card on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S.

John Lewis Monty's Christmas Goggles
John Lewis Monty's Christmas Display

Monty’s Christmas Virtual Reality

Monty’s Christmas has been launched as a 360° Virtual Reality adventure developed by Stinkdigital. The Smartphone is transformed using Google Cardboard into a Virtual Reality headset transporting users into a magical world where they’re invited to join Monty and Sam on an animated Christmas adventure. Following the real-time narrative of Monty and Sam’s story, users are placed at the centre of the story and are invited to explore each scene from the book in 360 degrees. Lingering on characters and objects makes them come to life; twinkling stars in the sky as you look up, Monty and Sam playing hide and seek, dodging snowballs, and hunting for a near-by meowing cat. The 2D illustrations from the story book were mapped into highly crafted 3D environments. Final scenes were rendered out stereoscopically enabling the 360 experience to work on users smartphones and Google Cardboard. Stinkdigital built the application using a combination Unity, WebGL and CSS to ensure that the experience could be enjoyed across a wide range of devices. Intricate sound design adds the finishing touch. During the festive season, the experience will appear in 42 John Lewis flagship stores. For those without a Google Cardboard a simplified version was released online.

John Lewis Monty's Christmas animated
John Lewis Monty's Christmas bus
John Lewis Monty's Christmas bus
John Lewis Monty's Christmas sled
John Lewis Monty's Christmas scenes
John Lewis Monty's Christmas Explore Monty's World

Monty is also being merchandised with a children’s book called Monty’s Christmas coming out, and an audio app version narrated by Dermot O’Leary launching on iTunes on Thursday.

John Lewis Monty's Christmas Book

Monty the Penguin Twitter Catch.com Profile

Credits

The John Lewis Monty’s Christmas campaign was developed at adam&eveDDB, London, by executive creative directors Ben Priest, Emer Stamp, Ben Tollett, art directors Richard Brim and Andy Kelly, copywriter Daniel Fisher, agency producer Matt Craigie, planner David Golding, managing director Tammy Einav, producer Cave Ellson, digital producers Joseph Walker, Olivier Guitton, Agne Acute, and account director Caroline Grayson.

Filming was shot by director Dougal Wilson via Blink Productions with executive producer James Studholme, producer Ewen Brown, production manager Ellie Britton, production assistant Jim Cole, and director of photography Joost Van Gelder.

Editor was Joe Guest at Final Cut.

Visual effects and grading were produced at MPC, London, by VFX supervisor/CG lead Diarmid Harrison Murray, VFX supervisor 2D lead Tom Harding, 2D creative director/shoot supervisor Bill McNamara, lead animator Tim Van Hussen, VFX executive producer Julie Evans, VFX producer Sarah Walsh, line producer Sandra Eklund, VFX team Amir Bazazi, Fabio Bonvicini, Georgios Kyparissous, Mikkel H.Okholm, Rune Mansson, Tom OFlaherty, David Filipe, Toya Drechsler, Fabrizio Ghiso, Tanos Topouzis, Kasper Larsson, Vamsi Krishna Reddy, Sravan Kumar, S. Sundaramoorthy & Swarup Kumar Panigrahi, colourist Jean-Clément Soret, telecine producer Ellora Chowdhury.

Sound was designed by Anthony Moore and Neil Johnson at Factory. Music is ‘Real Love’, written by John Lennon and performed by Tom Odell, supervised by Leland Music. The track is available to download.

The Monty’s Christmas app was developed at Supergoober with 360 technology designed by StinkDigital, London.