So after the new John Lewis ‘Monty the Penguin’ TV/Youtube ad hit our screens yesterday, we take a step back and discuss why it was such a success. It was trending nationally on all social networks throughout the day, and I’m sure will continue to over the Christmas months as they roll it out. The advert has barely been live for 24 hours, and it’s reached over 4 million views on Youtube (at the time of writing). We haven’t seen this amount of buzz since Nicki Minaj’s soft porn video for her Anaconda single (do not watch this, it makes your ears bleed).
So, why does it work so well?
- Plain and simple, it’s brilliant – There are not many people that can watch a child engage with a super intelligent lifelike pet penguin around Christmas time, see the penguin long for love only to be gifted a female companion on Christmas day and not have some sort of positive emotion. The production is blockbuster film quality, as is the music, as is the CGI etc etc. It’s a lovely bit of film and truly engages the viewer from beginning to end. They’ve spent £1m on this ad, and it’s worth it.
- Subtle brand association – So after you’ve watched the majority of the delightfully festive video, just at the most heart warming moment the John Lewis brand fades in. This is the point where they’ve got you. Whether you’re sniffling into a tissue with tears of joy and have a beaming smile on your face… all of that positive emotion is now being associated with John Lewis. It’s unbelievably subtle, but when you really think about it you’re now potentially going to think higher of John Lewis and trust them more with your money, because of Monty the Penguin. At the time of writing, the 4 million views on Youtube will have often had this impact. It’s an incredibly powerful piece of marketing.
- It’s long term – “People will forget about it right after Christmas.” I hear you say!? That they probably will, but they’ll still have the strong positive association with John Lewis, and the trust and perception previously mentioned. Also, John Lewis have started to build a reputation for creating heart warming ads (remember last year’s, The Bear and the Hare?) that people actually look forward to seeing on their telly. How often do people look forward to adverts? Think about how this advert makes you feel in comparison to the WeBuyAnyCar.com ads.
- They have one of the best landing pages I’ve ever seen – When you visit the John Lewis site you’ll be directed to a ‘Montys’ Christmas’ landing page. If you’re in business and you run online ads with landing pages, take note. This has everything, a video (obviously), animated GIFS, free app downloads, loads of custom images and call to actions that are hard not to click. They offer so much value on one web page it really is impressive. Well… it’s impressive to me!
- Time to buy Christmas presents! – As well as all of the above, John Lewis have made Monty (and his new beloved companion) into cute soft cuddly toys. So now children and adults alike can live the dream of the advert. Also, they’ve got Monty Christmas lights, Monty socks, Monty cushions, Monty waterbottle covers, Monty Cufflinks (?) etc. The amount of money they’ll make from this initial marketing outlay is going to be absolutely huge.
What can we learn from Monty?
Simply put, create something that’s so overwhelmingly desirable that people with buy into it. Clever landing pages and technical marketing software will help streamline their sales and marketing efforts, but it’s the content and the level of time and effort John Lewis have put into creating something incredibly sustainable. Similar to the Compare the Meerkats, John Lewis have created something that will last and benefit their brand long term rather than look for the quick specific sale there and then.
At Superfly, we choose long term strategies over short term any day. Long term marketing strategies should run through the veins of your company’s brand, image and staff. Whilst short term marketing should be used for short term sales goals.
Monty the Penguin is a modern marketing benchmark. #MontyThePenguin
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