M&S and X Factor – which brand are they actually promoting?

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?

One thought on “M&S and X Factor – which brand are they actually promoting?

  1. I’m pretty sure that the bookies knew about the ‘shock’ reinstating, as Amelia Lily had pretty good odds to win the competition … even after she’d been kicked out the first time. Maybe they let the agency in on the secret? :)

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