Blog: Dean BestM&S premieres GBP10m ad campaign

Dean Best | 4 November 2009

UK retailer Marks and Spencer will fit mince pies, cashmere jumpers, “big juicy birds” and handbags into a top-dollar Christmas television advertisements over the coming months.

M&S today (4 November) gave journalists a sneak preview of a celebrity-led festive marketing campaign, called “Chistmas wouldn't be Christmas without...”.

The nine adverts feature celebrities including Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders, Myleene Klass and Wallace & Gromit.

The campaign, due for screening from 11 November, cost around GBP10m to create, M&S' executive director, marketing, Chris Sharp, revealed at a media briefing in London today.

The marketing spend is roughly equal to last year, when M&S showcased pop group Take That in its Christmas ads.

M&S will be hoping the investment, together with a cold winter snap, will bolster sales for the rest of 2009, with a January 2010 VAT increase lurking in the background.

The company also announced the launch of branded grocery and household products today, coinciding with its interim earnings statement.

M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose said the roll out will not materially change the business of Marks and Spencer, but simply add extra convenience.

A successful trial at 54 Marks and Spencer stores suggests the changes will not be received with the 'love it or hate it' feeling of one of the brands it will stock – Marmite.

However, the retailer will begin by merely dipping its toe into the waters of branded food, opting for “400 rather than 10,000 brands”.

“Let's see how it goes, if it doesn't we'd be the first to stop it. If it does work and it works better than our expectations, then we'll  have a think about what the implications are. But it's not earth-shattering.”

Joe Ayling, just-style


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