M&S: 'This is not just food, this is M&S Christmas food'

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Context

In 2018, our M&S food campaign deviated from our usual approach. For the first time, we used real-life customers in an unscripted campaign with real families across the UK tasting M&S’s products. Our key insight was - everyone genuinely loves M&S’s food.

 

In a similar vein, our 2019 Christmas campaign invited 125 real M&S customers to try M&S’s Christmas range. We situated the campaign in a real-life Christmas market with carol singers, snow, and lovable celebrities Paddy McGuinness and Emma Willis. It was hailed a real ‘GameChanger’ in M&S’s marketing strategy, proving to be a serious hit with a more digital-savvy audience.

 

The ‘Golden Quarter’

Everyone in retail knows that Christmas is the ‘golden quarter.’ In food, the years’ performance is decided over this period. So how do you win when your competitors not only have more stores, but a lot more money to spend?

 

Shifting approach

People know M&S has great quality food. What families don’t always know is that M&S has great value food, for people like them (not just oldies, or posh people). This Christmas we made the strategic shift; going from special and different to special and relevant.

 

Idea

‘This is not just..’ Christmas food, this is M&S Christmas food. We took popular celebrities to interview real people, and our actual product developers, to let them prove just how delicious and affordable our Christmas products were.

 

This campaign gave real people a real reason to remember our food, and come into store over the Christmas period.

 

Results

M&S Food revenue grew from 1.5% to £1.7b, vastly outperforming the market. 

Grey

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