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Marks & Spencer makes product the star of its new Christmas campaign

Lauretta Roberts
08 November 2018

Marks & Spencer has unashamedly placed its "Must Have" products at the centre of its 2018 Christmas campaign, which has also been designed to be mobile and digital first, in a bid to get customers shopping over the festive season.

In the past the blockbuster TV ad has been the cornerstone of big retailers' Christmas campaigns and, while M&S will launch a 60-second spot starring style ambassadors Holly Willoughby and David Gandy, its "Must Haves" campaign will also feature dedicated content that will play out across social media channels, such as shoppable Instagram, programmatic display and Google Shopping.

Constructed around the “Must-Have” moments that "make Christmas truly special for busy families", the campaign covers everything from decorating the tree to dealing with the washing up on Christmas day (David Gandy makes a cameo here sporting Marigold gloves), via Christmas parties, Christmas movies and even Christmas present envy.

The TV spot comes with three different endings to keep the customer engaged throughout the campaign and, crucially, three separate 20-second edits have been created around three key product categories: partywear; knitwear; and sleepwear. These category-specific ads will run during the campaign at the times customers are most likely to shop from them based on research and customer data.

The main campaign will launch on 13 November at 6am on social media and the first TV ad will run on the same day during Good Morning Britain, which has been chosen for its family audience. The partywear edit will run from 15 November.

Marks & Spencer

Ambassador Holly Willoughby in a bus stop scene

Grey London created the campaign which is set to Tom Jones' “Give a Little Love” and customers will be invited to engage with the campaign using the hashtag #ChristmasMustHaves.

Nathan Ansell, Director of Marketing for Clothing & Home at M&S, said: “For the busy modern family, Christmas is all about quality time together and having some fun - I know it is for mine. And this year we’ve worked incredibly hard to tap into the key moments of the season that matter most to busy mums and dads - from the office party to the evening where you watch the classic Christmas films all together. We’ve built a campaign to show we have the “Must-Have” products to add magic and sparkle to these moments and we’ll be executing it based on detailed research about when customers want and need these products.

Marks & Spencer

Three friends in Must Have knitwear, a key product category

“For the High Street there’s no time of year that’s more crucial than Christmas so whether customers are purchasing on the app, on Instagram or in a city centre store we want them to know M&S is the destination for the Must-Haves that make Christmas.”

The focus on families taps into comments made by M&S CEO Steve Rowe yesterday who acknowledged that the retailer's Clothing & Home customer was ageing and it needed to re-establish itself with the "family age" consumer with more Must Have and more value-for-money items. Its half-year results showed a -2.7% drop in Clothing & Home sales.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer's 2017 Christmas ad

Last year Marks & Spencer partnered with the Paddington 2 movie for its Christmas campaign which also included the creation of special merchandise in-store from clothing to toys, books and food.


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