M&S Food reunites French and Saunders for Christmas ad

The supermarket is also locking the price of more than 100 products to help customers manage the rising cost of living this festive season.

M&S Food Christmas ad 2023
Source: Marks & Spencer

M&S Food has brought back Dawn French as the Christmas Fairy for its 2022 Christmas ad, who is this year joined by her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders voicing a well-worn dog toy called Duckie.

The first of eight ads shows Fairy searching for a new friend to bring to life after working her magic on Percy Pig last year.

After rejecting various ornaments on the Christmas tree in a cosy, well lit home, she settles on a tatty duck toy that belongs to the family dog, Wylie.

Voiced by Saunders, the battered toy’s festive cheer is restored as she sees all the food M&S has to offer this Christmas.

The upbeat tone was chosen after M&S research revealed 67% of adults are determined to make the most of Christmas and enjoy some much-needed festive cheer despite the rising cost of living.

We know value is front of mind for families and our food range is about offering the best possible quality at the best possible price – from essentials to showstoppers.

Sharry Cramond, M&S Food

In line with this strategy, M&S Food has promised it will lock more than 100 prices on “customer favourites” including soup, satsumas, coffee, salmon and laundry liquid until the end of the year. The price lock also includes Christmas must-haves like aluminium foil, prosecco and dishwasher tablets.

The items selected are designed to complement M&S’s existing ‘Remarksable’ range, which features customers’ most-purchased items, with all prices benchmarked against competitors.

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Sharry Cramond, director of marketing and hospitality at M&S Food, says: “We know value is front of mind for families and our food range is about offering the best possible quality at the best possible price – from essentials to showstoppers – alongside that all-important dose of M&S Christmas magic.”

Festive favourites

The retailer has created a series of eight festive ads featuring Fairy and Duckie, alongside Wylie, with a new ad being released each week between now and New Year’s Eve.

The first ad will be unveiled on M&S’s social channels this morning, before its TV premiere during ITV’s This Morning.

The grocer says the characters of Fairy and Duckie will be responding to people on social media throughout the day and calling for customers to share their favourite iconic duos, from celebrity double acts to food pairings, using the hashtag #ThisIsNotJust.

Fairy and Duckie will also appear in print ads and on limited edition carrier bags across the festive season.

Cramond describes the pairing of French and Saunders with M&S as a “match made in heaven”.

“We couldn’t resist reuniting two British icons in Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders with the British icon that is M&S,” she adds.

As well as reuniting French and Saunders on screen, the ad also highlights some of M&S Food’s festive favourites, including its cherry and orange liqueur Christmas pudding wreath, light-up sloe gin and blood orange and cranberry vodka, its award-winning Collection mini steak sandwiches and Christmas sourdough.

Cramond adds: “This Christmas we know families want a cosy, but special get together at home. Our ad brings to life what we have to offer – the perfect menu to deliver that warm, fuzzy, festive feeling.”