Thinking about Christmas in the middle of summer is rarely advisable at the best of times, but for retail brands like Marks & Spencer planning for the festive season was a particularly tough call, given that most of us were emerging from the year’s first lockdown feeling a little shell-shocked, confused and uncertain about the months ahead.
However, for M&S Food’s marketing director Sharry Cramond there were some obvious pointers. As consumers, we were clearly reconnecting with the importance of localism, we were rediscovering the joys of little treats in our daily lives and we were relearning the importance of looking out for each other.
“We spoke to customers quite far in advance this year,” Cramond tells Marketing Week. “They told us two things: one, we don’t want any fairy tales, just show us your must-have products for the festive season; and two, do it in a spirit of kindness. They wanted a bit of humanity to come through.”
Launching today (6 November), the ‘M&S Christmas Food’ campaign duly gives the retailer’s festive range centre stage in classic style: a glittering gold leaf-infused gin liqueur splashing around a glass in slow motion, a triple-chocolate panettone shown off in tantalising close-up. Cramond says that customers this year aren’t just looking for food for the Christmas table, but also for under the tree, to use as gifting.