Marks & Spencer has unveiled its Christmas 2017 campaign starring Paddington, which launches today with the hashtag #LoveTheBear.
The campaign, created by Grey London, airs for the first time today and follows on from this weekend’s premiere of of STUDIOCANAL and Heyday Film’s Paddington 2 film, which goes on general release on 10 November.
In the 90-second film, which forms the centre point of the campaign, Paddington, voiced by actor Ben Wishaw, inadvertently saves Christmas by interrupting a burglar he mistakes for Santa Claus and helping him deliver the presents he has stolen back to their rightful owners.
The heart-warming story has also been turned into a storybook available in stores and online for £3. All profits will be donated to the NSPCC to help fund its Childline service over the Christmas season. To launch the book, M&S will also host a series of book readings for children at stores around the UK – starting at its flagship Marble Arch store on Friday (10 November).
Paddington is a fitting partner for the retailer, since he is named after the area in London where Marks & Spencer’s HQ is based.
“At M&S our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we know they love the magic of Christmas, most of all spending time with family and friends. Paddington has enchanted children and families all over the world for nearly 60 years, which is why we couldn’t turn down the chance to bring the wonderfully endearing, much-loved British character and his world into the heart of our Christmas campaign this year,” said Marks & Spencer executive director of customer marketing and M&S.com Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne.
To support the campaign the ad will be shown before every screening of Paddington 2 in cinemas and M&S will organise dedicated screenings of the Paddington 2 movie for its Sparks customers and in the communities it supports through its Plan A 2025 scheme.
In-store signage will lead customers to dedicated Paddington shops within branches of M&S, which will stock 90 themed products, most of which will be in kidswear, though the character’s favourite marmalade will be available in the food hall.
Also in the lead-up to Christmas M&S’ team of in-store “Moment Makers” will be surprising customers with Paddington-themed “Random Acts of Kindness” – from a free marmalade sandwich in the café or a Paddington chocolate at the till, while an interview with Paddington and marmalade-themed recipes will be posted on its online content hub Style & Living.