High street chain Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched its 2016 festive campaign, with the release of its ‘Christmas with Love’ advert which stars Mrs Claus.
The ad premiered last Friday (November 11) at 9pm in the first ad break of ITV’s ‘Gogglebox’ to more than three million viewers, alongside landing on YouTube, M&S’ website and to its five million Sparks loyalty card members.
The promotion tells the story of Jake, who has spent the last year squabbling with his sister Anna. As Christmas approaches, Jake decides he wants to do something special for her. So he writes to Mrs Claus (played by British actress Janet McTeer) who helps him give ‘the perfect present with love’ to Anna: red glittery trainers.
Mrs Claus flies from Lapland across London in her helicopter to get Anna’s present to her on Christmas morning. As Mrs Claus departs, it starts to snow, delivering a white Christmas for all to enjoy. There are four versions of the advert (3 minutes, 2 minutes, 60 seconds and 30 seconds) which will be played on TV, social channels and M&S’ own channels.
Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of customer, marketing & M&S.com said: “Our ‘Christmas with Love’ campaign is a brand new approach for M&S this year, one that has been created with our customers and for our customers, with their feedback at the heart of our strategy.
“Mrs Claus is the result of thousands of conversations we’ve had with our customers to understand what they want from M&S – which is warmth, empathy and a touch of humour, presented in a modern and contemporary way. She epitomises the huge efforts that our customers put into making the festive season special, and represents the love and togetherness that customers want to feel and see in abundance at Christmas.
“That’s why we’ve brought Mrs Claus and her world to life outside the ad in our most immersive and mobile Christmas experience yet. Across social, in-store, mobile and online she’ll be there to help customers with the build up to the big day, with social media takeovers featuring her own emoji and hashtag #LoveMrsClaus, to offering outfit and gift inspiration.”
M&S store teams will get involved by carrying out 15,000 ‘acts of Mrs Claus kindness’ for customers, from offering free coffees to M&S café regulars to party makeovers for customers in need of a pick-me-up.
The retailer created an exclusive partnership with Channel 4 to launch the campaign. Following a week of co-branded teaser activity across the Channel 4 network and in social media, Mrs Claus appeared in a special ad break where she officially kicked off the festive season on the channel.
In the spot, narrated by comedian and actor David Mitchell, Mrs Claus gave seasonal style tips to fashion designer Dawn O’Porter, Christmas decoration suggestions to property experts Kirsty Allsopp and Phil Spencer, and festive food inspiration to farmer and television presenter Jimmy Doherty.
More content will be released in the run up to Christmas on air and in social media. The campaign will be aligned with customers’ personal Christmas calendars as they work towards the big day, from the search for a great Christmas jumper in early December, to the last minute dash for cream on Christmas Eve.
For food, this means the continuation of M&S’ ‘Adventures In’ TV ads, under the title ‘Tis the Season’. For clothing, it means targeted advertisements across multiple press, outdoor and digital channels.
All products featured in the advert are available in selected M&S stores and online, including Anna’s red glittery trainers, M&S’ top stores will also have seasonal gift highlight areas at the front featuring all the products from the ads.
Mrs Claus is played by British actress Janet McTeer