John Lewis spent a whopping £7 million on its new Christmas campaign – but it turns out the retailer only needs to flog around 74,000 plush penguins in order to recoup its outlay.
Yes, the star of the new TV ad – Monty the Penguin – will set you back £95, so fall in love with him at your peril.
The two-minute advert, which cost the department store £1 million of its £7 million festive advertising campaign, is based on friendship between a boy called Sam and Monty, his penguin pal.
Recognising that his penguin is lonely and needs a companion, Sam gives Monty a penguin girlfriend for Christmas – Mabel.
While Sam’s imagination brings Monty and Mabel to life – thanks to CGI in the advert – the penguin pair are revealed to be just cuddly toys at the end.
Fans of the advert can buy Monty and Mabel merchandise, including cuddly toys at £95.
So anyone who wants a Monty and a Mabel for Christmas will have to pay £190 for the pair.
That was a punchline too far for many, and Twitter was soon awash with complaints about the going price for 45cm of fur and stuffing.
Love the new John Lewis advert with Monty and Mabel the penguins but £95 for a teddy penguin, seriously? I'd want a real one for that ����— abby louise (@abby_louise91) November 6, 2014
With the World Wildlife Fund offering a cuddly penguin for sponsoring a real penguin for £3 a month, and London Zoo offering real penguin sponsorship, some social media users suggested it might be cheaper to buy a real penguin.
http://t.co/lLhVIa4qNn £95??... Sweet Jesus. I want a CGI one for that. Cheaper to go down London Zoo and steal one from Penguin Beach— Stuart Turner (@OnlyOneT) November 6, 2014
At 95 quid for the toy a real penguin is starting to look an option http://t.co/0UlsmfCAi6— Hannah James (@Han__James) November 6, 2014
This Twitter user said John Lewis might be charging a premium to cover its massive advertising budget.
John Lewis selling Monty the penguin teddy bears for £95. Because those adverts don't pay for themselves. Happy Christmas guys— Ben Stead (@Benstead90) November 6, 2014
While others said they’d rather Monty be single than to have to pay out £95 for his girlfriend.
Yer he's cute and everything but Monty the Penguin costs £95?! I'd rather be single than pay that for a new girlfriend John Lewis...— Laura Jayne Connor (@ljconnorjourno) November 6, 2014
John Lewis is also offering smaller cuddly toys of Monty and Mabel, starting at £12 each.
Photo credit: John Lewis
Would you buy a £95 penguin soft toy? Let us know in the Comments below.