M&S Ad Ambushes Olympics, Wimbledon & The Jubilee


Marks & Spencer is rolling out a summer campaign in early April that ambushes the big events of the UK summer: the Olympic Games, Wimbledon and the Jubilee.


Using a team of mainstream, big name celebrities, plus a slew of its now familiar models and union jack flags, this most British of brands is associating itself with the biggest British events of 2012.


Fronted by model musicians Myleene Klass and Dannii Minogue, alongside Take That frontman (and Jubilee concert maestro) Gary Barlow, the spearhead TV activity is based on the strapline ‘On your Marks for a summer to remember’.


The TV campaign, created by agency RKCR/Y&R, comes complete with a soundtrack that sees Barlow perform an exclusive cover version of The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes the Sun’.


M&S, is not an official Olympic sponsor (a surprising move to some UK marketers), but this campaign makes light-hearted, yet fairly clear connections to the London Games. One execution even features Minogue and Klass taking part in the non-Olympic ‘egg-and-spoon race’.


The sporting themes and references continue with ads featuring former Liverpool footballer Jamie Redknapp playing tennis with model Noémie Lenoir – an obvious reference (complete with the classic strawberries) to the Wimbledon All England Club Lawn Tennis Championships.


While 60s fashion legend and long time M&S front woman Twiggy is seen hosting a patriotic British garden party in reference to the celebrations surrounding the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.


Model and presenter Lisa Snowdon is shot rowing, a nod to both the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant and the Olympics perhaps?


The TV work is backed by digital activity from agency Profero, as well as press executions for M&S clothing sub-brands.




Quite how rival retailer Sainsbury’s (a major sponsor of the Jubilee River Pageant) feels about the M&S work can only be guessed at. Sainsbury’s is hosting its own festival in Hyde Park to leverage its rights and capitalise on the goodwill generated by the Jubilee.


In fact, the Queen’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is thought to have signed up no less than 15 brands to its sponsorship programme.


Perhaps only Olympic retail partner Next can share Sainsbury’s feelings about this M&S campaign.






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