When you watch M&S Food's Christmas ad, you'll wonder why it's taken 30 years to make Percy Pig the star of the show.
Funny with a fairytale quality, there are only so many ways you can advertise food before it gets tired. But "Percy's first Christmas" is a fresh take, which shows its festive range is "Not just any food".
And the casting is spot on. Spider-Man star Tom Holland will appeal to kids and adults alike. And, joining her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders in the famous fairy hall of fame, Dawn French makes a convincing sprite that's instantly recognisable and likeable.
Plus there are seven more adventures lined up, so there's much more Percy to come. I wonder whether he'll come across any pigs in blankets...
Claiming it has two to three times more followers than its competitors, the Christmas push also saw M&S go big on TikTok. Teasing the Percy reveal to its 130,000 followers the day before, it signalled a decisive step change as the retailer looks to attract a younger audience.
It also marks Grey London's first Christmas ad for M&S since the high-street darling moved its creative in-house, ending a long-term contract with Grey, in lieu of a project-based relationship.
While such a move presented obvious risks, keeping Grey to use on special projects that demand high levels of conceptual creativity (such as Christmas) seems to be working thus far.
Brand Marks & Spencer
Title “Percy’s first Christmas”
Agency Grey London
Food director Gus Filgate
Live action/animation directors DOM&NIC
Production company Outsider