Posts tagged ‘M&S’
I popped into M&S the other day and noticed a piece of POS encouraging women to ‘Drop a Dress Size’ in their new range. The body copy explained that you should buy the dress in your usual size and its cut and support would make you appear a dress size smaller.
M&S have quite clearly run with the dual insight that ‘women want to look thinner’ and ‘women want to fit into a smaller dress size’ and tried to kill two birds with one stone.
But I bet they won’t make a song and dance about their biggest marketing advantage of all – their women’s clothes are all a size bigger than the label states. I’m a size 10/12 everywhere on the high street except M&S, where I comfortably fit into their size 8. And for many women I’m sure there’s a certain satisfaction and feel-good buzz in fitting into a size smaller than usual.
I’d love to know whether this has been a happy side effect of tweaking their standard cut for a more apple shaped customer (for the benefit of my male readers I mean women who are thicker in the middle rather than the traditional hourglass shape), cutting more generously because their core customer wants a loser fit – or a calculated attempt to appeal to women who want to feel thinner and therefore better about themselves.
This false sizing simply serves to annoy me as there never seems to be any size 8s in stock, but I suspect there are a lot of women out there making the store their first port of call so they can stay (or drop to) that all important happy dress size number.
I rather like the new M&S Summer ad. It’s an excellent way of a) subtly muscling in on the Olympic action without being a sponsor, b) hedging their bets as to which big event of this Summer (the Jubilee, Olympics or Euro 2012) will provide the most retail uplift and c) allowing RKCR/Y&R to edit the full 90 second ad down to provide event specific executions.
It’s also a kind of Greatest Hits, featuring most of the big names who have fronted ads for them in the last few years, including Twiggy, Dannii Minogue, Myleen Klass, Lisa Snowdon, Gary Barlow, Jamie Redknapp and Noemie Lenoir (the one who looks depressingly good in her underwear).
Breaking an ad that has Gary Barlow singing ‘sun, sun, sun, here it comes’ is however a tad unfortunate timing-wise, given that it seems to have snowed across half of the UK overnight …
So, I said I’d deal with the M&S X Factor Finalists Christmas Commercial in a separate post.
Now obviously, this is part of a much wider M&S / X Factor tie up that includes sponsored airtime competitions, behind the scenes films and so on.
I assume the brief was about repositioning M&S for a wider, younger audience, but with a touch of festive fuzziness thrown in.
God knows how much they’re spending on re-edits as finalists drop in and out of the competition like yo yos and heaven help the poor agency account managers if Clearcast have insisted on re-approving each version.
The behind-the-scenes film looks they filmed all the original finalists – including the four who were dropped prior to the public voting. Which ended up being rather handy when Amelia Lilly came back in following the Frankie Cocozza drugs malarkey. In fact, a cynical type might suggest that having an extra four ‘maybes’ known to the public but not in the final was designed to deal with just this kind of commercial problem.
exhibit A: the origional ad (I think):
exhibit B: the latest version (we’re due another one about now):
I did a side-by-side comparison and all the edit changes currently happen between 30 and 45 secs. It’s a cunning plan – put the good acts likely to stick around at the beginning and end and the ones likey to get voted off in the middle to simplify editing.
Anyway, is the ad actually any good? IMHO, not particularly. It doesn’t have enough warn and fuzzy family stuff to jerk the heartstrings a la John Lewis and the X Factor lot aren’t big enough yet (singly or together) to endorse as huge a brand as M&S. So it ends up as more of an ad for the TV show than the retailer.
I wonder if this December’s trading (and viewing) figures will bear me out?
M&S launch a new national press campaign by RKCR/Y&R this weekend, which has apparently been ‘designed to communicate that M&S is committed to women of all shapes and sizes’.
There’s just one tiny problem – the model’s bra doesn’t really fit her properly. M&S’s own website says:
It’s been a good week for M&S. Their new telly ad seems to have gone down well, with loads of positive online buzz and the track featured (Got to Be Real by Cheryl Lynn) is inching its way up the itunes chart:
The casting of the latest batch of M&S Girls seems pretty spot on too. Twiggy obviously stays on as National Treasure, then we have Dannii Minogue cast as Mum to Be, Lisa Snowdon as the Girl Next Door, Ana Beatriz Barros as Girl in Underwear and V V Brown covers off the ‘we’re really quite cool, honest’ factor.
I love M&S for t-shirt type basics, but I do tend to shy away from their more stylish, stand out pieces (like the jacket on the right as modelled by Lisa Snowdon) because I know that I’m buying the same top as thousands of other women. I might as well leave the M&S tag hanging off it. How about putting some really limited edition stylish pieces in the Limited Collection?
Somewhere in my blog reader this week (I really should have saved it) there popped up a post about how perhaps this year’s crop of festive ads were a little too knowing (if you know whose post it was, please comment & I’ll link to them).
I think the post referenced in particular the new M&S ad, which is based around festive celebrity vox pops and includes Phillip Glenister’s announcement that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without “that girl prancing around in her underwear”.
By breaking the fourth wall, M&S move away from their previous festive fantasy lifestyle approach (Take That and Twiggy in a country house at Christmas and Bondesque fantasies) and sort of get back to basics, but I’m not sure that the M&S brand needs much help in the ‘sensible jumpers and nice quality stuffing for the turkey’ area.
Given that Morrisons have spent the last few years using celebrities to push shopping trolleys through unlikely locations in pursuit of their freshness message, perhaps M&S’s new chief exec will encourage something slightly more lifestyley for Christmas 2010?