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A Lesson in How to Generate Brand Love

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If you’re wondering how to generate brand love or if it’s even worth the bother, then look no further than these two campaigns that took the social media world by storm this week.

Yesterday, John Lewis launched its Christmas advert –Monty’s Christmas – the advert focuses on a little boy called Sam and his pet toy penguin ‘Monty the Penguin’ who is desperate to find love and companionship. John Lewis describes the advert as a ‘tale of friendship, love and giving someone the gift they’ve been dreaming of this Christmas.’ Tapping into people’s emotions, the advert has already been causing tears all over the country and has racked up over 4.2 million views on YouTube and already parodies have begun to surface.


But while John Lewis is fast becoming part of the Christmas experience itself with these on point, heart tugging adverts, it’s not the advert that really got me or the fact they have an app, story-book, soft toy and in-store events, or that Monty is already out of stock (according to disappointed Twitter fans) it was how they brought this integrated campaign to life though social.

Using promoted tweets, John Lewis asked people to help it turn the lights on and yesterday if you signed up, you had a surprise. Your Twitter profile picture changed into #montythepenguin Christmas lights, festive, pretty and a surprise when you checked your Twitter account. A simple but effective way of getting people thinking about Christmas, feeling festive (we put on Christmas music in the office today..) and planting the seed that it’s now time to start spending for Christmas.


But While, I really like the John Lewis campaign, for me, M&S is winning the battle of the retailers. Using two fairies named Magic and Sparkle (even their names are cute), the fairies star in its Christmas TV advert spreading kindness on unsuspecting strangers below, including children who are stuck indoors and want snow and a lady who has lost her cat. But while I think John Lewis may have edged it in the advert stakes, there is no question that M&S has nailed it on social media.

Fairies spread real kindness on Twitter

Setting up a secret Twitter account under the name of @thetwofairies Magic and Sparkle have spent the last 7 days flying all over the UK spreading random acts of kindness. Scouring Twitter for people who need a pick-me-up, the fairies have been delivering gifts to chosen Twitterers. This undercover social media kindness mission is nothing short of excellent.  It integrates ‘online’ marketing and ‘offline’ perfectly whilst also marrying above the line and below the line activity, no easy feat, and something many brands fail to get right.

But while both brands have worked hard to win the hearts of their customers, M&S has really stood up to the challenge and delivered absolute excellence in integrated marketing. While the campaign has cost millions, there will no doubt be a significant boost to sales and above all, they made their customers feel special by surprising and delighting them, and there’s no better way of getting people to be loyal and love your brand than that.

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Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall

Hi, I’m Chris, Content Editor at BrandContent. I work on content strategy, planning and creation. I have nearly 15 years’ experience as a journalist and editor. I bring a newsroom mindset – along with a heavy dose of pedantry – honed from writing for the likes of the FT and Sunday Times. Outside of work? Pizza and my two small children are the first two things that come to mind.

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