Marks and Spencer, currently at the centre of speculation that it is
about to become an advertising heavyweight, has gone on to TV for the
first time in its history.
Britain’s biggest retailer is testing the water with a four-week direct
response campaign in the North of England to generate leads for its
growing personal loans business.
The company says it is breaking the habit of a lifetime and turning to
TV to maintain and expand its financial services in an increasingly
Created by WWAV Rapp Collins, M&S’s television debut takes the form of
two 30-second commercials that take a light-hearted look at people’s
reasons for taking out a loan.
In one, a pair of doting parents watch their daughter perform a
seductive version of Falling in Love Again while reclining on top of her
In the other, a young student learning to drive provokes nightmare
thoughts in his mother when he suggests he might take a course in stunt
The films were art directed by Chris Albert, written by Sandra Money and
directed by David Smith through Smith Hadfield.
The commercials will run on Channel 4 North and in the Yorkshire and
Tyne Tees region for the next four weeks.
Richard Waugh, the M&S Financial Services head of marketing, said the
films were designed to make people aware that M&S provided loans at
attractive rates and that the loans could be spent anywhere and not just
in M&S stores.
The television campaign comes 12 years after M&S entered the financial
services market with the launch of its first charge card. Since then it
has extended its activities into unit trusts and PEPs and during the
past eight years has loaned more than pounds 1.5 billion to almost
Earlier this month, it was disclosed that M&S had seen presentations
from a number of London agencies with a view to increasing its current
pounds 2 million-plus adspend (Campaign, 4 October).