IPA Effectiveness Awards 2004: Silver Award - Marks & Spencer Lingerie


Campaign: Lingerie Heaven

Client: Marks & Spencer

Agencies: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, Walker Media

Principal authors: Alice Huntley, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R; Nick

Walker, Walker Media

Media used: Press, posters


Marks & Spencer Lingerie sells 45 bras a minute. Still, in November 2002, while the rest of the M&S brand was recovering nicely after years of decline, the department was being left behind, hampered by a poor image.

It was a seller of multipacks and "granny knickers". Not good when the boundary between underwear and outerwear was rapidly blurring. M&S was full of practical "mission shoppers" rather than the more desirable browser fashionistas hunting for something special.

Research showed that women's range of lingerie had grown in keeping with their social outlooks and ambitions. They wear different underwear depending on how they feel and what role they want to fill that day. As this "language" is shared only with a privileged few, lingerie is the ultimate expression of the true nature of their femininity, the authors found.

The advertising was designed to show off M&S's considerable range of lingerie where women could find something for their every mood, in "Lingerie Heaven". Rather than exposing the ads in the traffic-stopping Wonderbra way, media specific to women were chosen such as women's weeklies Heat and Now.

Responsible for a five-fold pay-back in profit, the case supports an important truth about retail: a good product doesn't sell itself. Advertising has an important role in shaping perceptions.

The judges' view

Positioning Marks & Spencer as "Lingerie Heaven" delivered sales growth five times ahead of the market. This campaign was mirrored at point of sale and paid for itself five times over.

After identifying that M&S was not tapping into the way women use lingerie, the agency developed a campaign to encourage people to buy more than just basic underwear at M&S.

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