The new John Lewis Christmas advert has become the most popular ad of the week, with 433,000 shares since its launch.

The advert, featuring a young boy named Sam and his penguin friend Monty, debuted on Thursday (November 6th), when it was shared 202,953 times in 24 hours.

Statistics collated by Unruly and published in Marketing Magazine showed the ad’s first-day performance experienced more shares than John Lewis’ 2013 Christmas offering, ‘The Bear and the Hare’.

However, it was a close-run contest, with last year’s advert garnering 198,244 shares on launch day, just 2 per cent below ‘Monty the Penguin’.

Oliver Smith, Unruly managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the retailer’s plan to release the advert on a Thursday was a “great idea”.

“According to our research, nearly half (48.3 per cent) of all video shares occur between Wednesday and Friday, peaking on Friday and hitting the lowest point over the weekend,” he explained.

“The fact that the ad was not shown on TV until more than 36 hours after launch is significant – with TV consumption falling and online sharing growing exponentially.”

Mr Smith also suggested Monty’s overall performance could outshine The Bear and the Hare, with the director praising John Lewis’ decision to choose a penguin as the lead.

He argued that last year’s “grumpy bear”, which goes into hibernation at the beginning of Christmas and must be awoken by his hare friend, was more of a divisive character. This created a love it or hate it attitude among viewers.

Despite this, Monty has some way to go before exceeding last year’s advert success, as the Bear and the Hare is the third most-shared Christmas commercial of all time.

Over 1.1 million people forwarded the ad to friends and family, while US brand WestJet’s ‘Christmas Miracle’ accumulated 2.17 million shares. Kmart’s ‘Show your Joe’ offering enjoyed 1.8 million shares.

John Lewis 2014 Christmas ad smashes record for most shared, Marketing

Posted by Robin McCrink