M&S Unveils Mrs Claus in UK Christmas Campaign

M&S UK has unveiled its Christmas with Love push featuring Mrs Claus, an icon created to resonate with the expectations of customers.

M&S recently rolled out its 2016 holiday campaign, with the release of a new advert titled Christmas with Love. The brand’s most customer-centric push to date, the creative is based on input from thousands of its 32 million customers across the UK, which was used to develop the star of its Christmas ad, Mrs Claus.

According to the marque, the overall effort is also the global chain’s most socially immersive effort to date, launching in the first ad break of Gogglebox to more than three million viewers, alongside landing on YouTube, the retailer’s website as well as to its five million Sparks members.

The story is of Jake, who has spent the last year squabbling with his sister, Anna. As the season approaches, he decides to do something special and writes to Mrs Claus, played by British actress, Janet McTeer. She helps Jake gift to Anna the perfect present—a pair of red, glittery trainers.

In the short film, she is shown reaching out in her own stylish way—flying from Lapland across London in her helicopter to get the young girl’s special package in by Christmas morning. As she departs from the family’s home, it begins to snow, delivering a white Christmas for all to enjoy.

From social media takeovers featuring her own emoji and hashtag (#LoveMrsClaus) to offering outfit and gift inspiration in store décor, Mrs Claus will live beyond the ad. M&S store teams is set to be carrying out 15,000 acts of kindness, from free coffee for a Café regular to a party makeover.

Created by RKCR/ Y&R, the spot was directed by Oscar-winning British director, Tom Hooper, and has an original cinematic score composed by British composer, Rachel Portman. Along with media agency, Mindshare, the brand has inked an exclusive partnership with Channel 4 for the launch.

Following a week of co-branded teaser activity across the network and online, Mrs Claus appears in an ad break on Channel 4. A specially created spot narrated by David Mitchell will see her offer Dawn O’Porter style tips, Kirsty and Phil décor suggestions, and Jimmy Doherty food inspiration.

The push will be aligned with customers’ calendars, from the early search for a great Christmas jumper to the last-minute dash on Christmas Eve. For Food, it means the continuation of the Adventures In television ads under the title Tis the Season, with a festive twist to the Clean Bandit track.

For Clothing, the promotional exercise signals targeted placements across multiple press, outdoor, and digital channels. Top stores are slated to introduce seasonal gift highlight areas at the front featuring the products from the ads, ensuring the advertised lines are easy for customers to locate.

“Mrs Claus is the result of thousands of conversations had with our customers to understand what they expect from us—which are warmth, empathy, and a touch of humour presented in a contemporary way,” said Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director of Customer, Marketing & M&S.com.