Twiggy raises profile of M&S anniversary

Challenge - This year has become synonymous with recession and, with shoppers having less disposable income, the high street has suffered significantly. Consumers have faced a number of doom and gloom messages in the media and have become accustomed to being barraged with countless deals from all the major grocers and retailers. Our challenge was to cut through this onslaught of offers, introduce some feel-good commun-ication and reassert what is great about M&S, celebrating the brand's 125th anniversary in the process.

M&S: high-profile campaign
M&S: high-profile campaign

Marks & Spencer
Walker Media
Claudia Hobbs

Our strategy for M&S communications has always revolved around three words: focus, authority and energy. We concentrated on being daring, dynamic and intrusive, using large-format and broadcast media in a scale to match the M&S brand. Storytelling was a crucial part of this campaign: showing M&S through the ages was designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia and remind consumers why M&S is still a fantastic place to shop. We also introduced the "Quality worth every penny" strapline to present a different approach from rival retailers' communications, which have largely focused on discounts.

A simultaneous launch on TV, outdoor and press ensured maximum visibility over a four-week period. A 60-second TV ad starring Twiggy celebrated the 125th anniversary story, supported by a three-week campaign on large-format, quality outdoor sites and press ads featuring products from M&S business units.

The campaign reminded consumers why M&S is a long-standing and well-loved British institution. Research by Hall & Partners showed recall of the advertising was incredibly strong, peaking at 81%, with a significant uplift in advertised lines. The "Quality worth every penny" message reaffirmed the importance of quality at the best price and reassured customers why they love and use M&S. Meanwhile, the "Boobs" outdoor execution generated huge interest in the media, with mountains of subsequent editorial column inches.

Claudia Hobbs, Senior account manager, Walker Media

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