Every November, British retailer (and Kenshoo client) John Lewis tugs at the world’s heartstrings with its annual Christmas advert.

Last year, it was The Bear & The Hare. The short video begins with the following line, “There once was an animal who had never seen Christmas.” It’s only about 2 minutes long, but I was crying like a baby by the end of it. (Spoiler alert: the animal finally sees Christmas.)

That video has over 13 million views.

On Thursday, November 6, John Lewis released its 2014 advert — #MontyThePenguin. The commercial has not even aired on TV yet and, as of Friday, it already had over 5 million YouTube views. That’s more than 1/3 of the total current views of the 2013 advert… and all in just one day. Update: as of this morning, views already doubled to 10 million!

If you had already seen the ad before reading this post, chances are that you watched it on Facebook.

The fact of the matter is that Facebook is quickly becoming a hot destination for video consumption.

As a recent Business Insider article pointed out, numbers show that 40% of views for the video came directly from Facebook.

Let me frame that in another way: last year, John Lewis didn’t even upload its Bear & the Hare video directly to Facebook, it only shared the YouTube link. This, year, after uploading the ad to Facebook, the channel has sourced 40% of views.

That’s huge!

The fact of the matter is that Facebook is quickly becoming a hot destination for video consumption. According to ComScore, Facebook achieved around one million more desktop video views than YouTube in August of this year. Furthermore, Facebook reported upwards of 50% growth in video views on the platform from May through July of this year.

facebook vs youtube monthly views

And people are not just watching videos on Facebook – they are also sharing them. Data from Unruly revealed that Facebook drove 76% of the Monty the Penguin video shares in the first 24 hours.

For its part, Facebook is well aware of the power of video with its audience and the influence of mobile in the video experience (65% of Facebook’s video views are on mobile). The platform has made several updates during the past year to improve the experience for individuals and pushes forward (albeit cautiously) with its video advertising format. Video even got a shoutout in the Q3 earnings call with CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling it “a very big priority.”

For brands like John Lewis, Facebook is proving to be an increasingly opportune channel to bring stories – including those of a boy and his penguin – to life.

Image Source: John Lewis