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Monty the Penguin causes waves online as viewers revel in the new John Lewis Christmas ad

John Lewis has launched its much-awaited annual Christmas ad, and perhaps predictably, it whipped viewers into a nostalgia-fuelled frenzy.

Monty the Penguin makes the perfect pet

This year's ad, launched on Thursday, saw the introduction of Monty the Penguin who served as an adorable companion to a little boy in the run up to Christmas. However, all is not perfect for the boy's feathered friend - Monty is lonely and is on the hunt for a mate.

John Lewis launched a Twitter account for Monty on Thursday, it has already racked up an astonishing 3,500 followers in a matter of hours.

Social media engagement for the Christmas mascot was high. In the first three hours following the ad, Hotwire analytics company measured 49,562 tweets regarding Monty.

This made #montythepenguin the top trending Twitter subject in the UK within 90 minutes of the ad's launch

The firm recorded 97.7 per cent positive sentiment towards the ad with viewers remarking that they would love to have a Monty. Others enjoyed the soundtrack, Tom Odell’s cover of Real Love.

2014’s entry crushed last year’s John Lewis’s 2013 Christmas ad, ‘the Bear and the Hare’, which received 49,152 tweets within 24 hours of its release, even though it was the most talked about Christmas ad of 2013.

Monty has already been touted for government by satire panel show, Have I Got News For You.

That is if he doesn't take up a role at Manchester United.

It is unlikely the penguin will be alone at Christmas with Penguin Books Uk offering to set up a date.

On Wednesday, The Drum caught up with Ben Priest, the founder and executive creative director at Adam&EveDDB - the creative agency behind John Lewis' most memorable ads.

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