M&S puts focus on jumping jumpers in ‘very commercial’ Christmas campaign

M&S puts the product front and centre of its ads for both its food and clothing and home businesses as it looks to drive sales both online and in-store.

Marks & Spencer has ditched Holly Willoughby in favour of putting its “biggest commercial category” at the centre of this year’s Christmas ad as it continues on its mission to broaden its family appeal and be famous for “style at great value”.

Set to House of Pain’s Jump Around and directed by Jake Nava, who was behind Beyonce’s Single Ladies music video, ‘Go Jumpers’ spotlights the retailer’s range of 50 festive jumpers, which it is expecting to sell five million of this year.

The 60-second hero ad, done with new creative agency ODD, features people (plus a dog and Ken doll) jumping around after they get a case of the jumps from putting on one of M&S’s jumpers.

M&S’s marketing boss for clothing and home, Nathan Ansell, says the idea is simple: “What we want to do is get customers jumping for joy this Christmas and of course jumping on to our website and into stores to buy as well.”

“It’s very commercial,” Ansell adds, and there is “infinitely more” content than last year, which reflects the direction M&S is going in.

While TV is still a “crucial” part of the plan, digital channels are at the heart of this year’s Christmas activity. Around a third of M&S’s spend will go on video-on-demand and garnering 150 million impressions on social media, an area M&S is key to drive as revenue from social media has grown 200% this year.

There has been a big investment in out-of-home, including digital, as well, in a push to drive footfall. With 70% of M&S product searches coming from mobile, Ansell says catching customers when they’re “in that moment” and out and about is “really important”.

Press and magazines are also a key part of the plan to “drive fame and convert sales”, while M&S will be targeting 6 million customers via email, which Ansell says is responsible for around one in four visits to the website.

Building on its collaboration with Frozen 2, M&S has also installed Frozen 2-themed selfie stations in the kidswear section of its stores.

“We want to be famous for style at great value. It is early days but our style and value perceptions are up and going in the right direction,” Ansell says. “For us, this Christmas campaign is the next chapter of the book as we build and cement the strategy.”

M&S Food goes to the market

M&S launched its Christmas food campaign this week too, starring Paddy McGuinness, Emma Willis and a Welsh Primary School choir singing a special arrangement of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross.

It is a continuation of last year’s product-focused campaign, with a big TV presence – 11 ads in total – and lots of social activity, while press ads will focus on its food-to-order business.

But M&S’s food marketing boss, Sharry Crammond, says the in-store activity is more important than anything else this year, which is why it will be continuing its #MyMarksFave strategy where staff wear badges with their favourite M&S food on.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Crammond says this was one of the “big learnings” from 2018 and a key driver of conversation, both in-store and on social media.

“Marketing isn’t just about what’s on TV or social media. Marketing is also about what are you doing in-store,” she says. “The store is actually the most important channel for us to communicate with our customers.”



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