John Lewis and Microsoft launch magical in-store experience to support Christmas ad campaign


Microsoft and John Lewis have announced the launch of ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’, a  new approach to extending the reach of online creative campaigns with immersive, technology enabled, in-store experiences that brings children’s toys ‘to life’ using a Kinect 2-enabled 3D interactive experience. Available in the flagship John Lewis department store on Oxford Street, the Toy Machine is the result of a challenge to Microsoft’s creative technologists to do more than just amplify Christmas advertising on Microsoft properties and truly add to the magic of the festive period.

Available in the flagship shop until the 23 December, this media first campaign supports the newly launched John Lewis Christmas advert, Monty’s Christmas, which reminds us of the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes. Children can bring their favourite toys in store where they will be scanned using photogrammetry technology, before appearing on screen as a moving, life-like 3D image. This interactive digital replica then magically dances for the child, creating a truly memorable retail experience and the perfect opportunity for a selfie.

The experience is described as a true collaboration of brand, agencies and publisher to challenge the creative boundaries of online and offline consumer engagement using technology. Microsoft’s team of creative technologists has developed this project from start to finish alongside the John Lewis Innovation Team, Adam and Eve and Manning Gottlieb OMD.

John Lewis will also be surfacing its seasonal advertising across Microsoft’s unique multi-platform digital advertising ecosystem. The media partnership with John Lewis has unlocked true technology innovation, bringing an engaging, unique dimension to the retail customer experience as part of a broader advertising deal.

Owen Sagness, general manager at Microsoft Advertising & Online, said: “Our collaboration with John Lewis combines the best of brilliant technology and innovation to expand consumer engagement beyond the boundaries of a traditional advertising campaign. Our team isn’t afraid to try new things, test the limits of what’s technologically possible today and apply their expertise to help brands really bring their campaigns to life in ways they may never have considered.

“With Monty’s Magical Toy Machine we have created a unique retail experience for children and consumers using the power of technology, and our digital advertising offering gives John Lewis the reach for their Christmas ad campaign across our portfolio of engaging consumer brands.”

Craig Inglis, director of marketing, John Lewis, said: “Each year we look for new ways to amplify our Christmas campaign, and creating Monty’s Magical Toy Machine with Microsoft is one of our most exciting ideas yet. I hope this unique experience will bring the magic of Christmas to life for our Oxford Street customers, both young and old alike.”