Morrisons launches celebrity-free Christmas ad as it declares staff are the 'real stars'

Morrisons has revealed a shorter and celebrity-free Christmas spot this year as it seeks to capitalise on the "warmth" customers feel for the brand.

Morrisons launches celebrity-free Christmas ad as it declares staff are the 'real stars'
Morrisons launches celebrity-free Christmas ad as it declares staff are the 'real stars'

The Bradford based retailer will kick off its Christmas TV campaign this Friday (6th November), first on social media and then on TV during Emmerdale.

Instead of featuring celebrities, as it did last year in its "biggest ever integrated campaign", it will feature real staff - who marketing director Andy Atkinson said were the "real celebrities" of Morrisons. The move follows the retailer's decision to axe its relationship with the presenting duo earlier this year.

When you speak to our customers they say 'you are a warmer brand, you're not a big box retailer like Tesco' and this ad plays into that

The three shorter 30 second spots will feature butchers, bakers, greengrocers and fishmongers and will aim to communicate the brand's fresh credentials, highlighting that Morrisons makes more fresh food than any other retailer, Atkinson told Marketing. 

The first spot will highlight Morrisons' relationship with farmers, showing fresh food being delivered and prepared and the second features staff hand making Christmas treats and meat joints.

The third will focus on how Morrisons is helping customers to create a "magical Christmas" - with each spot carrying the strap line "Make it a magical Christmas...At Morrisons" and supported by digital, radio, press and outdoor. 

Atkinson said consumers wanted support in creating "magical moments" at Christmas, which the brand could deliver via its "unique" fresh proposition.

While he would not be drawn on budget changes, he added the move away from celebrities was about better connecting with consumers and showcasing Morrisons' friendly staff. The decision to run shorter spots at 30 seconds compared with 60 seconds in 2014 was also a strategic one, he said.

"It's interesting when you speak to our customers they say 'you are a warmer brand, you're not a big box retailer like Tesco' and this ad plays into that."

Against the backdrop of a challenging trading period for the grocer, he added the campaign was about driving as much footfall in store over the crucial Christmas period.

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