A shot of an Adélie penguin and chick from David Tipling’s new book.
Such is the authenticity of the penguins' performances that most people find it hard to fathom that Monty and Mabel are computer-generated images rather than real flightless birds.
Sadly in the wild the plight of the penguins' alter egos is all too realistic. Adelie penguins are classified as "near threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as they become victims of climate warming that is reducing Antarctic sea ice and putting their stony nesting grounds at risk from rising tides.
Unsustainable fishing and oil pollution are added burdens for these hardy birds with their dinner jacket plumages and perky stance. It is feared that the Adelie penguin population could decline by 30 per cent over the next three generations.
To add greater poignancy to the Adelie's predicament is their unlikely status as technically "British birds". Adelies nest on UK Overseas Territory along with several other penguin species, making Britain the nation with more of this bird family under its jurisdiction than any other country.
The RSPB is campaigning to create a 500,000 square kilometre reserve around the South Sandwich Islands to help protect Adelies along with chinstrap and gentoo penguins.
In his wonderful new book Penguins: Close Encounters, renowned photographer David Tipling captures the charismatic Adelies in all their glory.
Sadly in the wild the plight of the penguins' alter egos is all too realistic
Monty and Mabel's debut in the advertisement is providing a worthy windfall for the penguins.
John Lewis is teaming up with the wildlife charity WWF to raise funds to help scientists find out more about the birds.
The WWF's adoption scheme helps pay for time-depth recorders to track the birds when they dive as well as measuring equipment and identification transponders.
All profits from the CD sales of John Lewis's Christmas advert single Real Love by Tom Odell are going to WWF's Adopt a Penguin Programme.
Rod Downie of the WWF UK, said: "Through the support of John Lewis and our amazing penguin adopters, WWF can help protect the icy home of Monty and Mabel.
John Lewis and our amazing penguin adopters, WWF can help protect the icy home of "The funds raised will allow WWF to continue supporting British and French scientists working in the Antarctic to track Ad©lie penguins like Monty and Mabel, identifying where they go at sea to feed. This information is helping us to identify vitally important biological hotspots in the Southern Ocean that need to be protected from the threat of unsustainable fishing."
WWF's penguin adoption packs, which contain a cuddly toy penguin, are available at wwf.org.uk/penguinadoption