John Lewis’s ‘Monty’ ad sets Christmas benchmark but retailer has missed a trick, claims Eagle Eye


Steve Rothwell, founder of Eagle Eye Solutions, believes John Lewis may have missed a trick in its 2014 Christmas advertising campaign

John Lewis has once again set the benchmark with its annual Christmas advert, generating a press and social media frenzy of activity following its airing. Twenty four hours after the premier of the advert, the video had been shared 202,953 times across social media, becoming the most shared advertisement of the year.

The impact of the advert did more than generate positive publicity for the brand and for Monty. John Lewis customers have embraced Monty – demonstrated by the increase in their like-for-like sales in the week following the adverts release, up 5.1% on last year.

There’s no disputing the advert has helped John Lewis make a solid start to Christmas trading but has it missed a trick with its Monty the Penguin campaign? Is there something they could have done to make Monty work harder for them?

Following the launch of the advertisement, a shopping frenzy ensued with thousands of John Lewis customers attempting to purchase Monty the Penguin toys. John Lewis was delighted to announce the penguins had been selling out, both online and in-store.

The popularity of the toy was a fantastic opportunity for John Lewis to gain invaluable insights into the shopping behaviour and purchasing activity of their customers. If the Monty the Penguin application or website had been integrated to a digital platform the retailer could have seen who bought Monty, when, where and what they purchased alongside him. In other words they could have gained valuable real time basket data.

Digital rewards platforms, such as Eagle Eye AIR, provide retailers and brands with a tool from which they can launch campaigns and gain valuable insights from consumers’ responses as well as offer vouchers and coupons based on this data. By using a platform like Eagle Eye AIR, the campaign would have been enhanced and customers could even have been rewarded for interacting with the advert digitally.

The UK’s leading brands are embracing an omnichannel approach to retail and to sales but we’re all on the lookout for the next biggest innovation.

John Lewis, once again, has an ad campaign that has captured our hearts and imaginations, but by linking the campaign to a digital rewards platform, Monty could have captured our shopping behaviours too. A valuable gift for any retailer.