U.K. Retailer Marks & Spencer Gets Joyously Jumpy for the Holidays

Festive flights tout sweaters and food

British department store Marks & Spencer works up a sweat in its first holiday campaign from ad agency ODD, showing all sorts of folks wearing knit jumpers while dancing their hearts out to the buoyant beat of House of Pain's "Jump Around." 

They jump at home, bathed in the glow of Christmas trees and neighborhood lights:

M&S | Christmas Advert 2019 | Go Jumpers for Christmas!

They jump at work amid desks and filing cabinets:

M&S | Go Jumpers for Christmas! Office Scene

It's a wooly wonderland! 

Jake Nava, who directed Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" video back in the day, keeps the festivities frenetic and fun. The slightly goofy choreography makes it seem, at times, as if the sweaters have possessed their wearers, making average Brits bust amusing awkward moves against their will. 

"As a brand, M&S are loved but can be seen as very traditional and safe," ODD founder and executive creative director Nick Stickland tells Muse. "The client wanted us to shake that up and create something disruptive. Something that wouldn't only be surprising for them as a brand, but would also stand out against their competitors. And we knew we didn't want to make anything too sentimental. We wanted to make the nation smile. After all, who wants to cry at Christmas?"

That brief led the agency "to the idea of jumpers brought to life by the magic of Christmas that get everyone dancing," Stickland says. "We knew we would need something that would strike a balance between Christmas fun and the need to clearly display a large volume of product in an aesthetically striking way—so everything fell together fairly quickly." 

As for the song selection, beyond the obvious link to jumpers, "it's from a time where our target audience would have been jumping to this song at parties—although hasn't everyone jumped around to House of Pain at some point in their life?" Stickland says. "The track is exciting, iconic and unexpected. We knew it would stand out against the more traditional Christmas songs."

M&S's clothing sales have lagged of late—down 5.5 percent for the past six months—so the chain has been emphasizing fashion more frequently across its advertising. (ODD touted denim selections earlier this year.)

Hey, all that jolly jumping can make revelers mighty hungry. That's our sorry segue into M&S's separate holiday food campaign, from Grey London. The push features lots of elements across various media, anchored by this 90-second film with comedian Paddy McGuinness and TV presenter Emma Willis chowing down as they meet M&S culinary developers:

M&S FOOD | This Is Not Just Food... This Is M&S Christmas Food | Christmas Advert 2019

That's an arrangement of Fleetwood Mac's '60s tune "Albatross," by the way, performed by a choir from Ysgol Gynradd Llwyncelyn primary school in Wales. Not really a tune you can jump around to. 

Other ads in the series find the crew traversing the U.K. in search of festive food favorites.

CREDITS

Brand: Marks & Spencer
Client: Nathan Ansell, Marketing Director, Clothing & Home
Campaign Name: "Go Jumpers for Christmas"
Creative Agency: ODD
Executive Creative Director: Nick Stickland
Associate Creative Directors: Turhan Osman, Loui Bowes
Art Director: Emma Jordan
Head of Strategy: Kathryn Jubrail
Strategy Director: Jo Delaney
Account Handling: Sarah Johnston, Tom Peters
Agency Producers: Dannie Stewart, Tash Dean
Production Company: Cherry Studios
Director: Jake Nava
DoP: David Johnson
Exec Producer: Ben Cooper
Post Production: Moving Picture Company (MPC)
Flame Lead: Lora Nikoleava
Nuke Artists: Edward Taylor, Mauro Nodari, Amy Smith
Colourist: Yoomin Lee
Executive Producer: Louise Unwin
Producer: Amie Kingsnorth
Editing: Final Cut
Editor: Mike Radforth
Colourist: Yoomin Lee
Sound: Grand Central
Sound Designer: Munzie Thind
Original Track: Jump Around - House of Pain
Music Negotiators: Tom Stanford, Wake The Town
Media Agency: Mindshare

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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