The recipe for retail success this Christmas

When online & in-store sing the same Christmas carol in-tune

by Barnaby Maclaine

Image courtesy of

Christmas is coming and the mass ad-campaign war is well underway. But who’s stolen a march on the rest of the pack? Whether it be Marks & Spencers social media focused ‘Follow the Fairies’ Campaign or Mulberry’s light hearted #WinChristmas ad, the quality and engagement levels are sky high.

Marks & Spencer Christmas Advert 2014 #FollowTheFairies
Mulberry Christmas Advert 2014 #WinChristmas

However with competition for shoppers never higher this year it’s going to be the campaigns that manage to not only strike that cord with your Christmas emotions but the brands who are able to bridge the gap between the online and in-store experience. Christmas should be about stores at their very best. A great example and perhaps the early front-runner has to be the John Lewis ‘Monty the Penguin’ campaign. Like its competitors the story is engaging and emotional but where it differs from the rest is how John Lewis have cleverly joined the dots, connecting all their customer touch points to really bring the narrative to life.

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 — #MontyThePenguin

The story centres around a boy called Sam and his penguin friend Monty — whose dream of a companion is finally realised with the arrival of a new penguin friend Mabel. In partnership with Samsung, John Lewis has created an in-store experience that’s packed with innovation and engagement. Each John Lewis store has its own Iceberg Station where you can learn more about the Adélie penguins from the campaign and even adopt one through the WWF. John Lewis’s flagship store on Oxford Street is also home to the very innovative and immersive Monty’s Magical Toy Machine.

Image courtesy of Microsoft & John Lewis
Image courtesy of Microsoft & John Lewis

In partnership with Microsoft the toy machine allows children (or even adults) to have their favourite soft toy scanned and then bought to life on screen as a 3D animation. The teddy then walks and dances about on screen, surely fulfilling any child’s dream and cleverly mirroring the narrative of the campaign.

Customers teddy, Rambo Ginge gets to dance for the first time in his 30 year life at Monty’s Magic Toy Machine @JohnLewisretail

With already over 17 million views on Youtube and with the replica Monty and Mabel toys sold out in stores fetching hundreds of pounds on eBay, I think it’s proof that the recipe for retail success this Christmas is about being able to tell a compelling story that the customer can get as close to as possible.

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