Marks and Spencer Advertising Strategy

Topics: Advertising, Mass media, Christmas Pages: 6 (1932 words) Published: March 26, 2014

Marks and Spencer is an international multi-channel retailer that has been running for 129 years. It now operates in “over 50 territories worldwide” and employs “almost 82,000 people”, (Marks and Spencer plc, 2013). It’s dependence on its origin country; the UK is progressively being reduced due to its international focus. M&S’ UK turnover consists of 54% food and 46% general merchandise, including home ware, clothing, lingerie etc. It is currently growing its e-commerce and has expanded to the finance business with its M&S Bank branch. Clothing has been lately an aspect of concern for the company, as sales of clothing have “slipped back for the ninth consecutive quarter”, (The Guardian, 2013). This has created a 9.1% fall in half-year profit. For this reason, according to M&S Chief Executive, they are currently working on having “more innovation and choice than ever before”, (Bolland, 2013). However, according to retail analyst for the BBC, “The company is too risk averse and is unwilling to break the mould of its traditional ways of doing business”, (Conlumino, 2013). INDUSTRY CONTEXT

The affordable fashion market in the UK has been described as “challenging” by Chief Executive Bolland. The fashion industry requires radical and innovative measures for success, which M&S has not dared to implement until now. Marks and Spencer’s fashion competition is becoming increasingly tough and aggressive. Retailer Next overtook M&S “as the UK’s biggest fashion retailer, in July 2012”, (Nairn, 2012). Primark, its older rival has “an expected 5 billion pounds in clothing sales in 2014”, (The Guardian, 2013) this is a very close figure to M&S, with the potential possibility of performing above it. CAMPAIGN STRATEGY

Marks and Spencer decided to adopt a fairytale theme for its Christmas 2013 campaign, focusing on its men and women ware collections as well a their lingerie collection playing a strong role. The adverts’ message claims to “Believe in Magic and Sparkle” and is based on a collection of fairytale stories including Alice in Wonderland, Red Riding Hood and The Wizard of Oz. It encourages the audience to believe in the true Christmas spirits while taking them through a range of mind-blowing and fantasy settings that communicate the wide range of festive products available in the store. The advertising campaign was developed by the advertising agency RKCR/Y&R and also includes its Christmas party food range on the table set during the ‘Tea Party’. The company has tried to emphasize its quality by bringing to the advert loved fairy tales in a glamorous offset. Christmas is a key selling season for M&S and thus their Executive Director of Marketing & Business Director claimed how they wanted to “recapture the magical essence of Christmas that customers tell is synonymous with M&S”, (Bousquet-Chavanne, 2013). In terms of the media channels, Marks and Spencer “is shifting its marketing approach to digital first”, (Vizard, 2013). This means that its strategy is launching campaigns online (through Youtube and its Website) before the use of Above The Line advertising (appearing in TW or print), this is a way to engage better with its consumers. The campaign was first launched on the 4th November online and two days after the TV debut took place. The whole campaign had a very strong focus on engaging their target audience through social media, allowing shoppers to vote via Twitter and Facebook on a name for the highland terrier which features in its campaign.

The main purpose of the campaign is to create awareness to their target audience and recover primarily in terms of clothing sales (increase them). Further objectives of the campaign are to attract its target market for a bigger range of their products. By integrating food and general merchandise such as clothes and home ware in the advert, M&S aims to take advantage of cross-fertilising across food and clothing, as opposed to other...

References: (Source:Marks & Spencer website, 2013)
Appendix 2
Marks and Spencer performance in social networks
(Source: Brand Republic, 2013)
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