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John Lewis Hijacks M&S and Debenhams' Christmas on Shazam

Kirsty Styles

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 12.49.45People who shazam the M&S or Debenhams video ads this Christmas may be surprised to see a cheeky banner running along the bottom advertising John Lewis' Monty’s Christmas app.

A trick first pulled by M&S back in 2012, paying for Shazam ads against the results of your competition is not unlike hijacking the Google or app store search words of your competitors.

But it's iconic Christmas ad music, which this year includes Julie London’s 'Fly Me to the Moon' on the M&S ads and Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus’s 'We all Stand Together' for Debenhams, that appears to be the new battleground. That's the spirit!

Miles Lewis, vice president of ad sales at Shazam, told Marketing: "Audio IP is a new development, and some agencies and clients see this as an opportunity. Why would you let a rival brand buy that?"


But, given that the M&S ad has only been shazamed around 2,500 times, with John Lewis seeing 20,000 since it was released, it's clear that the real investment still has to still go into that tear-jerking video narrative. Sysomos social intelligence company has found that the John Lewis ad achieved 6.9m online views in its first 24 hours, with  #MontyThePenguin mentioned more than 90,000 times on Twitter in that time.


John Lewis has gone the whole.. penguin this year, creating a den in each of its stores, an outdoor experience at Oxford Street in London and even 'virtual reality' goggles for people to buy.