Gemma Critchley – Advertising: Marks and Spencer Christmas TV ad 2011

Posted on November 6, 2011 by


I saw the 2011 Marks and Spencer Christmas TV ad tonight for the first time.

x factor marks and spencer christmas ad advert 2011 metro fashion blog celebrity style

Even when I didn’t work in advertising, I always looked forward to the annual ‘fabulous-off’ from the big brands, and of course I always anticipate the Christmas Coca-Cola TV ad featuring those wonderful red trucks. When you hear ‘holidays are coming’, you know that holidays are actually here.

So, in the ads of tonight’s X Factor, I saw the new M&S Christmas ad:

Now, whilst I don’t particularly rate the idea of using the, ahem, stars of this year’s X Factor as I think it’s severely limiting the amount of people they’ll appeal to, I do think the ad is beautifully shot and the styling is pretty decent given that they had to dress such a wide specturm of people spanning several different ages and styles. Although I suppose that’s the whole point of the advert, really. I can imagine them writing the brief:

“Key message: Marks and Spencer offers a wide range of clothing and accessories to suit all age ranges, tastes and styles.”

Which kind of makes me think that whilst the advert does convey its point, is it a little bit too obvious? Am I the only one who doesn’t want ads to be too literal, that a degree of subtlety gives a bit of credit to the imagination of the audience?

That aside; it gets things right of the aesthetic front. The lighting and those lense flares look lovely, and I adore Mischa B’s eye makeup at the end. It probably won’t make me shop at M&S but it’s different, at least.

I think M&S have probably taken the celebrity style thing about as far as they can, to be honest. It’s wearing thin not only for advertisers, but for retailers too. Where people once looked to Heat Magazine to analyse Cheryl Cole’s latest outfit, I think the advent of Twitter and the narrowing of the gap between celebrities and ‘normal people’ means that people are finding their style inspiration elsewhere, either from each other or from blogs. And let’s face it, X Factor contestant probably sit closer to the ‘normal’ side of the fence than to the celebrity one. No one really looks to Kitty Brucknell or Frankie Cocozza for fashion tips, surely?

What do you think? Is celeb style over? Have M&S got it right this year or does this latest ad fall flat? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Posted in: Gemma Critchley