‘The M&S brand should be the first port of call for the younger generation’ says its marketing chief

As Marks and Spencer launches the brand new ‘The Art of’ campaign today (September 2nd) to promote its fashion credentials across men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, its executive director of marketing Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne says brand momentum is now at a “seven-year high” and that it is looking to “claim territory” lost to rivals.

The TV ad not only promotes outfits across the M&S Autumn range but also talks up its craftsmanship and sustainable sourcing, with a particular focus on cotton.

Bousquet-Chavanne says it is the most digital-focused M&S campaign to date and will hit 37 different formats across TV, print and digital platforms.

“The time is right to claim our territory with great confidence and force,” Bousquet-Chavanne told Marketing Week.

M&S saw sales of clothing and homeware slip 0.4% in the three months to 13 June. The drop was particularly disappointing after M&S had delivered its first rise in clothing sales in four years in the previous quarter.

However Bousquet-Chavanne says the new ‘The Art of’ campaign – citing its Mark Ronson’ Uptown Funk instrumental and strap-line of ‘Only One Store Does It Like This’ – shows confidence is coming back into the business.

M&S 2
A still from the new ‘The Art Of’ TV campaign from M&S

“We wanted the campaign to reflect the strong authority and confidence we now have in fashion,” he explained.

“We are the leader in menswear and we are the leader in womenswear. We can’t be tame with our advertising anymore; it has to enforce our leadership credentials.

“Since we introduced the ‘Only at M&S’ messaging a year ago, brand momentum has grown to a seven year high, which I think is a good indicator of the positive response we are getting from consumers.”

The recent slide in GM sales has been blamed by analysts and shareholders alike on an outdated product offering. Bousquet-Chavanne, however, says that M&S has “successfully broadened appeal” by bringing its food and fashion advertising closer together.

He concluded: “Whether it is food, fashion or homeware, we are trying to position M&S as the brand that is the first port of call for the younger generation.”

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