RKCR uses celebrities in its M&S Christmas advertising

A host of celebrities including David Beckham, Joan Collins and Ronnie Barker will star in Marks & Spencer's Christmas advertising campaign "magic & sparkle".

The commercial, created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, will aim to give a taste of the wide selection of Christmas gifts and ideas available in-store. It launches on 8 November and will run until Christmas Eve.

The high-street retail chain unveiled the campaign as it revealed a 30 per cent rise in first-half profits. It said pre-tax profits had risen to £287 million in the six months to 28 September, against forecasts of £266 million to £280 million. The retailer has helped elevate itself out of its slump by moving to foreign suppliers, introducing new designers and revamping its stores.

Directed by Jeff Stark via Stark Films, the 40-second commercial opens on a miniaturised Denise Van Outen dressed as a Christmas fairy, perched on a present and swinging her wand. She asks: "What makes Christmas magic? Hands up!"

Several humorous vignettes follow, also featuring celebrities including Graham Norton, Cat Deeley and Sean Bean, with each scene showcasing the store's clothing, gift and food products.

Jude Bridge, M&S's head of external marketing, said of "magic & sparkle" - which was first introduced last year: "It has real customer resonance, achieving a very high level of awareness, and is now fully established as an M&S property."

The spot was written and art directed by Chris Hodgkiss and Pip Bishop.

Media buying is through Walker Media.

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