1. Did Marks & Spencer ‘spend it well’?

Did Marks & Spencer ‘spend it well’?

The ad film takes the viewer on a journey of life from the cradle to old age, all the while highlighting the fact that ‘life is short, so spend it well’.

By: | Updated: May 23, 2017 3:06 AM
Women of all ages celebrate the power of everyday choices ranging from practical ones like not wearing shoes that hurt the feet to emotional ones like not holding back or staying silent.

The Ad

The ad film takes the viewer on a journey of life from the cradle to old age, all the while highlighting the fact that ‘life is short, so spend it well’. It presents bold vignettes of women empowerment with the power to say no to uncomfortable knickers or uncomfortable silences. Women of all ages celebrate the power of everyday choices ranging from practical ones like not wearing shoes that hurt the feet to emotional ones like not holding back or staying silent.

Target Audience

Well-travelled working professionals in India, between 25-40 years with an active social life.

Business Objective

Essentially a summer campaign, the objective is to have top of mind recall through the summer season.

The Appeal

3 Emotional 7 Functional 7 Sensorial

The campaign rides high on emotions as it presents fashion as an attitude flavoured with an empowerment angle. The film shows vignettes of women getting inspired to make a choice and do what they feel by saying no to mediocrity. Conceptualised through consumer insights, the ad film makes an emotional pitch to women stating that life is defined by attitude, not age.

However, it fails to bring out the functionality of the brand.

Competitive Edge

Marks & Spencer has launched a new global brand proposition Life. Spend it Well that applies to its entire customer experience and integrates its segments —clothing and food — in one ad for the first time; perhaps strengthening its footprints into both these segments globally. In India, what works for the brand is the unique positioning it has taken within the realm of women empowerment.

Furthermore, no other high-street brand has launched a bold campaign recently to kick off the summer season, and that can help Marks & Spencer gain a lead.

Tone of Voice

Serious and empowering

Verdict

We have all heard people say, ‘Life is too short to settle for second best!’ It is this philosophy that British retailer Marks & Spencer has adopted in its new brand campaign launched across 55 markets.

The campaign does well in smartly moving away from the clichéd tags associated with women empowerment and going within the subject to bring out the Spend it Well philosophy. While it is great that the brand is staying away from a direct reference to its product portfolio, somewhere one feels a disconnect with the campaign.

The ad film fails to engage the viewer and on the flipside, it could appear that the brand is trying too hard to take a stand with a bit of everything related to empowerment strewn into the film, including the clichéd shot of a protest march. The message unfortunately gets lost in between as countless brands are already adopting this angle into their communication. In fact, several brands in India including Jabong, Nike, Reebok, Amazon, etc have launched campaigns with similar messaging in recent times. It seems Marks & Spencer is a bit late to the party.

Though the retailer deals in apparel for men and women, the ad seems specifically targeted towards women. However, the brand claims that the all-female cast is used to show a single story from birth onwards as a statement about spending life well. With Marks & Spencer’s legacy, not to forget the Mrs Claus Christmas advert, could it have done something unique and better this time around as well?

Rating: 5/10

Chandni.Mathur@expressindia.com

@chandni_mathur

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