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Struggling UK Retailers Go First with Festive Ads


Struggling UK Retailers Go First with Festive Ads

It’s not been an easy year for Marks and Spencer. It’s already closed 21 stores and has plans to shut 100 more in the next 4 years, reducing costs by a whopping 350 million pounds. But despite the change in management, the losses in jobs and the endless search for survival, the store is leading the way with festive cheer, being one of the first major department stores in the UK to release it’s Christmas advert, this time with a focus on food.

M&S’s creative team travelled across the UK in search of real people to star in the adverts and talk about their M&S food favourites. The campaign is made up of 12 different versions with over 60 customers and colleagues covering everything from brussel sprouts to the famous Percy Pigs. Each ad encourages viewers to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #MyMarksFave.


After announcing plans to close 50 stores in October, the stakes are now similarly high for Debenhams. It’s been slow to embrace the online environment with a fifth of its sales completed through its website, compared with two-fifths for John Lewis. Given its repeated profit warnings, the previous plan to close just 10 stores never really sounded  realistic. 

But just like Marks and Spencer, it’s putting on a brave face for the upcoming holiday season and has boldly stepped out with it’s advert. The objective is to position Debenhams as a gifting destination where shoppers can easily discover and curate throughtful gifts for their loved ones. Wearing the strapline “do a bit of you know you did good”, the campaign comprises of four 20-second clips that depict a gift giver experiencing the moment of joy knowing that they’ve found the perfect gift.


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