For the last few years, British high street retailer John Lewis has created some of the best Christmas TV adverts, outdoing Marks & Spencer as the most talked about brand for its, essentially, short films. And last year it went one better by adding extra online activities and a dedicated Bear & Hare application for Android and iOS.
This year the company has gone even more on an all-out tech offensive, with a number of innovative initiatives that complement its charming Monty the Penguin advert.
As well as another interactive storytelling app for iPad and Android - Monty's Christmas narrated by Dermot O'Leary - John Lewis has an online 360-degree panoramic tour of lead characters Sam and Monty's world, and each of the shops has a dedicated section called Monty's Den.
Inside children can use Monty's Goggles, a cardboard virtual reality viewer that contains a Samsung device in order to view the panorama with motion. And there is Monty's Magical Toy Machine, into which kids can insert their favourite cuddly toy to be scanned and turned into a 3D rendered model.
Other tie-ins include Monty and Mabel toys in store and the song this year is a cover version of Real Love by Tom Odell. We suspect it'll do as well as, if not better than, Lily Allen's rendition of Somewhere Only We Know from last year's ad. You can download Odell's track from iTunes for 99p.
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