// M&S launches new Christmas advert campaign featuring an all-star cast and a charity focus
// The first of the nine M&S Food ad features Olivia Colman
// The other ads will feature voiceovers from Eddie Redmayne, Gillian Anderson, Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Julie Walters & Tom Hardy and more
Marks & Spencer has become the latest major retailer to launch its Christmas advertising campaign, featuring an all-star line up and a charity focus.
With its Christmas marketing to be mainly focused around its food and grocery division this year, the retailer’s first of nine adverts for the festive season features the voiceover of award-winning actress Olivia Colman.
The retailer said it would release the other adverts each week leading up to Christmas, and each with voiceovers from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Eddie Redmayne, Gillian Anderson, Dame Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Dame Julie Walters, Naomie Harris and Tom Hardy.
M&S added that it was putting charity at the heart of its food advertising campaign this year, pledging to donate £2 million to good causes.
The iconic voiceover cast have all selected charities to which M&S Food would make a donation on their behalf.
In addition, each time a customer on the retail giant’s Sparks loyalty scheme shops at M&S in-store or online, it would donate to their selected charity.
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As well as donations on behalf of the famous voiceovers, M&S Food has selected 10 staff from across the UK who are its most active charity volunteers, giving donations to their chosen charities.
In total, the Christmas advertising campaign will donate £1 million to charities, and M&S said an additional £1 million would be donated to “a diverse range of charities” – including Shelter, Together for Short Lives and the 35 Sparks charities that M&S supports.
“2020 has been a difficult year for all of us but at a time when charities are seeing their incomes fall significantly, we want to make sure that the M&S Food Christmas campaign builds on our existing charity partnerships and gives much-needed support to those that need it most,” M&S Food marketing director Sharry Cramond said.
“This is not the year for advertising fairy tales – our customers want this Christmas to be as special as possible but have told us that they want to know about the M&S Food must-haves and how we are supporting others.
“All charities featured in the TV ad will receive their donations ahead of Christmas so they can use the money immediately where it’s needed the most and we are indebted to the nine amazing actors who gave their time so willingly to support these great causes.”
Olivia Colman said: “I am delighted to work with M&S Food and lend my voice to a campaign that supports UK charities at a time when they need it the most”.
Alongside the advertising, M&S Food is also running festive editions of its popular What’s New at M&S tasting panel, now in its third year.
This self-filmed content featuring celebrity tasters Amanda Holden, Emma Willis, Paddy McGuinness and Rochelle Humes, sees the tasters review new products, sharing them with their combined 9 million Instagram followers.
This autumn M&S welcomed the addition of two new tasters: TV presenter Andi Peters and Olympic medallist Tom Daley.