Spreadable media- Analysis of Monty the Penguin and friends (Video Artefact no.1)

As posted previously, my first attempt of spreadable media was my animal rights endeavour, using the popularity of the latest John Lewis Christmas advert featuring a penguin to high light the real problems with hunting and over-fishing in the Antarctic. Reason for making this film were on a personal level, however the method I chose to get the point across was using key spreadable media tools.

To decipher the reasoning for this short film further I will divide the film into its preliminary ideas and objectives:

The Big Idea

With the hype around the recent John Lewis Christmas advert featuring a rather endearing ‘Monty the penguin’. One can only appreciate the exhibit of John Lewis’ use of emotion, social currency and story-telling to create audience attention and distribution in order to sell a product. So why not use this audience following or one could say ‘trend’ to expose my own artefact.

As of 14/12/2014 ‘Monty the penguin’ official YouTube video has receive the following attention:

monty veiws


With any trend, popularity is only sustained with social interest. As this interest generates from a Christmas advert some could say it would be short lived or even a fad as Henrick Vejlgaad explains in his ‘Trend forecasting and Trend process’.Therefore the key to attracting the same type of audience participation is to expose the artefact as quickly as possible after the John Lewis advert. As seen below Google trends :

new monty trends

Shows over a 90 day period the peak of web searches for ‘Monty the penguin’ was 06/11/2014 and the web search for this stayed popular through November, hence this was the time to act.


The title was an issue I contemplated over for the whole of the spreadable experience, the first title I used for the video was as follows:

1st name real love

The reasons for this is I was worried John Lewis as a company would have the film shut down for negative portrayal of their company if I incorporated their name, then after a week of disappointing figures I took the step of involving John Lewis into the title, hoping it wasn’t too late before the John Lewis hype calmed down.

name change real love


The tags for this film were picked, as shown below, in reference to what happened in the video, 2 weeks after the video was publishes these tags were changed to words relating more towards the John Lewis advert itself to gather traffic looking for that video.

 Tags at publish:

1st tags real

Week 2:

 2nd tags real love


This was the first of the ‘STEPPS’ principles, as spoke about in a previous post, I exercised for this piece, basically pulling on the heart strings of my audience. I decided to arouse shock and sorrow from the audience, expecting this emotion to evoke further thinking and possibly discussion.

Social currency

The social currency principle take from my work was the music; Tom Odell is a current artist who made the music for the John Lewis advert, as an artist himself he has extreme popularity within the Charts and the ‘real love’ song itself made it to #7 in the official charts for downloads and streaming in the UK. The ‘real love’ song itself is a John Lennon cover and his version was chosen for the short film; 1. To keep the ‘real love’ theme, 2. As a tribute to John Lennon who as an advocate of peace and love.


The short film does not exactly tell a story in the conventional way; with a beginning , middle and end, but it does however demonstrate the penguins lives before and after hunting which consequently transforms the narrative from happy to shocked/upset; giving the story value.

This short film was published on YouTube on 22/11/2014; I posted URL links to the video on facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my wordpress blog. Here is an analysis of the films progression over the last 3 weeks:

42 veiws

The anlytics taken off my youtube channel show only only 42 views, with a peak of ten views on the day of release. Although this is a disappointing figure the line chart does show that the video was view on other days by audiences in Germany and Singapore.  As I personally haven’t given this URL to anyone in these countries, one can derive that they found it through other means such as tags and trend searches.

Reasons for the videos unsucessful reception can be due to several factors:

Psychological aspects

The video involves some scenes of violence and killing towards the animals, which were purposely used for the shock value. However this idea can also be seen as a reason to not watch the film itself. Researching some psychological aspects of watching television I’ve noticed this audience ‘psychological defence mechanism’ can be the cause of not watching something that displays violence, crime, murder etc.  Emotions can be overwhelming and therefore a person uncomfortable with violence would be inclined to avoid the video.


As this was my first attempt at spreadable media I would like to indicate that inexperience of tag usage was a key issue with promotion of this video. Using  tags such as ‘penguins’ ‘animal rights’ and ‘real love’, were possibly the weakest tags for this artefact. Two weeks after publish I changed the tags to ‘Monty the penguin’ ‘John Lewis’ ‘Tom Odell’, but at this stage the trend itself was not as popular and may of reduced in traffic.


This item had the least personal publicity of the two artefacts, although I published the video twice on Facebook and seven times on Twitter, the prohibiting features of only using these social medias is followers are the only people who can view it. Although the video was like by followers causing the video to be present on their pages, the event did not really make much difference.

Quality of video

The film was 2 minutes 26 seconds, for some people browsing the internet this may be far too long to capture people’s attention. Also the subject of the film itself may not be of people taste.

Quantity of John Lewis related films

As I walked into university smug with the thought of jumping on the John Lewis ‘band wagon’ I was instantly informed by a another student someone else in the class had also made a parody of the same advert, which got me thinking, how much reproduction traffic would this popular advert attract?

According to YouTube when searching for ‘Monty the penguin’ 16,100 results appear:


This gives my video a 0.006211180124223603 % of being seen, without including video that have been paid to be fully promoted which is an option YouTube provide with a charge.

There were several characteristics I could have changed to promote this video a little more such as putting on reddit with 174 million visitors a month members. This was factor which prompted the use of reddit in my second artefact.

Overall this Video did not succeed in spreading over the internet within its 3 week presence, due to its lack of relatable tags,quanity of other relatable medias,  quality and possibly its violent nature.


John Lewis Inc. (2014). John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 – #MontyThePenguin. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860 . Last accessed 14/12/2014.

Henrik Vejlgaard. (). Trend Forcasting and the Trend Process.Available: http://www.henrikvejlgaard.com/?id=161 . Last accessed 14/12/2014.

Google. (). Trends for ‘Monty the penguin’. Available: http://www.google.co.uk/trends/explore#q=monty%20the%20penguin&date=today%203-m&cmpt=q . Last accessed 14/12/2014.

Jonah Berger. (). What makes things popular? Available: http://jonahberger.com/books/contagious/ . Last accessed 14/12/2014.

Official Charts compny. (). Tom Odell. Available: http://www.officialcharts.com/artist/_/tom%20odell/ . Last accessed 14/12/2014.

Erupting Mind. (). Effects of TV on the Brain. Available: http://www.eruptingmind.com/effects-of-tv-on-brain/ . Last accessed 14/12/2014.

Expanded Ramblings. (). Reddit Stats.. Available: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/reddit-stats . Last accessed 13/12/2014.


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