The M&S campaign which featured the British artist Tracey Emin and focuses on 12 inspiring women including actor Helen Mirren, singer Ellie Goulding, Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams and Save The Children CEO, Jasmine Whitbread has actually had a negative effect on sales of M&S woman’s wear. The campaign was shot by the renowned portrait photographer Annie Liebovitz, best known for her spreads in Vanity Fair and American Vogue.
M&S has described the campaign as “an effort to move M&S into a ‘new era’ with a more ‘confident’ tone. Past campaigns have usually featured a warmer style, with recent M&S adverts consisting in pictures of celebrities like model Twiggy or ‘X-Factor’ judge Dannii Minogue wearing brightly coloured outfits and wide smiles”.
However, YouGov’s Opigram system which allows us to look at which female celebrities M&S customers particularly admire in reality – and it is a very different roll call. “An alternative M&S campaign of its real ‘leading ladies’ would include TV chefs Delia Smith and Lorraine Pascale; comedians Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Victoria Wood; TV and radio stars Sandi Toksvig and Kirstie Allsopp; and of course, Joanna Lumley”.
“Last week Marks & Spencer’s general merchandise arm was dealt a blow when a number of respected analysts warned that it is continuing to lose market share in women’s fashion, leading to a fall in its share price. Autumn sales figures won’t be released until next month, but if the naysayers turn out to be correct then it will be the ninth consecutive quarterly fall for the company’s non-food division”.
“To try and turn things around M&S trumpeted a new clothing range at the end of the summer, and launched a high-profile ad campaign featuring such luminaries as Helen Mirren, Tracey Emin and author Monica Ali. Our research shows that the campaign’s target audience is definitely taking notice, but it has not yet made them want to run out and buy Marks & Sparks clobber”.
Photo: courtesy of M&S Tracey Emin back row left