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M&S turns to Percy Pig and Dawn French for festive campaign

M&S and Grey London breathe life into the iconic Percy Pig with the magic of Christmas

Georgie Moreton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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It’s not just Christmas; it’s an M&S Christmas starring Percy Pig.

With just 50 days until Christmas Eve M&S is launching two ads to promote both its food range and its festive clothing and home offering, positioning it as the Christmas retail destination.

In the first of its launches, M&S’s brings magic to the food hall as a Christmas Fairy played by Dawn French accidentally breathes life into signature M&S character Percy Pig. The character goes on an adventure in the store, exploring the many treats that the M&S Food Hall has to offer this Christmas. From the Collection Golden Blond Christmas Pudding to Delicate Smoked Salmon, the focus of the ad is on the products as M&S let the quality of its food shine through at the centre of the campaign.

Percy Pig is voiced by Tom Holland and the food brand’s starring role comes ahead of his 30th Birthday next year. As M&S continues to raise the profile of its most beloved character, the retailer has created a further seven adverts showing Percy exploring different food products, meaning new content will be released from now until New Year. The character's face will also appear on M&S carrier bags.

Experts from across the industry worked together on creating the advert – from the composer for the bespoke track to creatives at Grey London, to leading animators at MPC who worked tirelessly to bring Percy to life. The campaign launches with a 60-second advert following a social campaign to tease the voice of Percy #whoispercypig. 

“The M&S Christmas Food range this year is better than ever and who better to tell customers about our delicious Christmas food range than the national treasure and much-loved M&S icon himself, Percy Pig.” added Sharry Cramond, Director of Marketing for M&S Food: “Of course, he couldn't have just any voice, and having Tom Holland give Percy Pig his first words is about as exciting as it gets. Added to that the voice of the one and only Dawn French as the Christmas fairy – it’s the stuff of Christmas dreams!”

As M&S Food continues to focus on appealing to family-aged customers, TV slots (live and VOD) will remain an important way the campaign is executed. The campaign will also be executed across the full range of marketing formats including all social channels with bespoke content and, for the first time, a TikTok takeover. 

Anything but ordinary

Alongside its food offering, M&S also launches its ‘Anything but Ordinary’ home and clothing campaign with a whimsical ad starring Madisyn Ritland. 

The clothing campaign created by ODD, shot by Autumn de Wilde brings to life a festive musical world with the star of the ad dancing through the iconic moments of Christmas – from shopping for presents to having fun in family PJs. 

The advert is a continuation of the brand platform ‘Anything but Ordinary’ that M&S launched for Autumn/Winter and shares how M&S’s style, quality and value products can help customers make the Christmas season anything but ordinary for their loved ones.

“Our Clothing & Home products help make the season anything but ordinary – from fun family PJs for cosy nights in, to the chic velvet suit for the much-anticipated party season, to the best beautiful decorations for the Christmas tree.” explained Anna Braithwaite, M&S Clothing & Home Director, “Our campaign, which we’ll be sharing across all customer channels, celebrates the joy of the season and showcases the one-stop shop M&S is for everything you need to make it special.”

The campaign will be executed across a range of channels – from print cover wraps to an activation at Waterloo station. M&S will also be taking over three large scale sites bringing to life some of the theatrical magic with hand-painted murals.

To compliment both campaigns, M&S has launched a full Christmas gift shop in-store and online across Clothing, Beauty and Food –  the top three gifting categories for the UK public. A “Percy World” section in celebration of the Food advert will allow families to bring the magic of the campaign home as M&S hopes to be a one-stop-shop for its 32 million customers – helping them to make the season truly anything but ordinary.

 

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