Last week, adam&eveDDB launched its big holiday spot for John Lewis, “Buster the Boxer.” On Friday, RKCR/Y&R’s also launched a holiday campaign for Marks & Spencer with the three minute “Christmas with love from Mrs. Claus,” kicking off the agency’s last holiday effort for the brand after losing creative duties to Grey London in August.
The spot lets Mrs. Claus, a normally overlooked part of Christmas lore, be the hero for a change. A six-year-old boy named Jake writes Mrs. Claus for some holiday help in dealing with a big sister who is “sometimes angry” and a dog who likes to destroy things. After sending Santa off to deliver presents, Mrs. Claus reads Jake’s letter and sets off on her own mission.
It’s a very sentimental approach, with the message ultimately that, despite their differences, Jake loves his sister and wanters her to be happy on Christmas. Like many such Christmas efforts, the spot takes no effort to tie the message to the brand. Instead, viewers will have their heartstrings tugged and, M&S hopes, associate the feeling with the brand when setting out on their holiday shopping. That the effort takes a decidedly different approach than John Lewis’ big budget ad should help it stick out, although some may find it far too sappy for its own good.
The spot made its broadcast debut on Friday and will be followed by another Mrs. Claus-centered spot narrated by comedian David Mitchell and a holiday spin on the food-centric “Adventures In” series.
“Our ‘Christmas with Love’ campaign is a brand new approach for M&S this year, one that has been created with our customers and for our customers, with their feedback at the heart of our strategy. Our ambition is for M&S’s customers across the nation to experience something special this festive season,” M&S executive director of customer marketing Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne told Campaign.
“Mrs Claus is the result of thousands of conversations that we had with our customers to understand what they want from M&S – which is warmth, empathy and a touch of humour presented in a modern and contemporary way,” he added.