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M&S teases Christmas #magicandsparkle campaign over social

British retailer Marks & Spencer provided a sneak preview of its upcoming Christmas television campaign via its social channels this week, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The 10-second trailer sees a Highland Terrier dashing down the street with model Rosie Huntington-Whitely in hot pursuit. Hinting towards both an Alice and Wonderland and a Wizard of Oz theme, it closes with the dog tumbling down a manhole.

This little dog is no Toto however, but either Magic or Sparkle, depending on what M&S fans decide. The retailer is inviting them to vote on either name as part of an interactive tie-in for the revival of its “Magic & Sparkle” catchphrase.

“With this year’s ad we wanted to recapture the magical essence of Christmas that our customers tell us is synonymous with M&S. Magic & Sparkle is an extraordinary franchise, which has always been a firm favourite with customers,” said Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of marketing and business development. He added that it’s all about interaction and a conversation with customers this year. “Digital is the fastest way to be in that conversation and you are going to see us doing more of that.”

The full two-minute ad – set to be released over social on Monday, November 4, and television on Wednesday, November 6 – is said to be inspired by several other much-loved fairy tales too.

It also stars David Gandy and Helena Bonham-Carter, in what is referred to as a filmic spot featuring an enchanting orchestral soundtrack.

Huntington follows after the small dog, landing in a snow-dusted forest seated at a “fantastical feast”, filled with M&S food products and Gandy, who takes on the role of Mad Hatter. Next she moves to a Red Riding Hood scene inside Grandma’s House complete with home goods and decorations from the retailer, before heading out on a magic carpet, with Gandy once again, across the London skyline. This time she wears her Rosie for Autograph lingerie and sleepwear lines.

Last up is the yellow brick road with Huntington-Whitely as Dorothy (complete with red heels), Gandy as the scarecrow and Bonham-Carter as Wizard. The ad closes with Magic or Sparkle safely recovered in the real world.

The spot was shot by London-based agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and directed by Johan Renck.

RosieH-W HelenaB-C DavidGandy

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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