M&S: Must-Haves – 2018 Christmas Advert

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“The Must-Haves That Make Christmas” created by Grey London is the M&S’s 2018 Christmas Advert.

Set to “Give a Little Love” by Tom Jones the minute-long advert tells the story of the “Must-Have” moments that make (and sometimes break) Christmas. Each moment is curated to show off the “Must-Have” products that play a part in it. It begins with Holly asking, “What makes Christmas, Christmas?” before we see her wriggling under the perfect family Christmas tree to plug in her M&S “Must-Have lights.” As the background music steps up a beat, the Christmas season is well and truly underway, with a stylish lady strutting through a “Must-Have Party, after Party, after Party” and in each one she’s in a casual “Must-Have” party outfit. The playful ad presents a range of moments that make Christmas from “Must-Have Bridget” where a group of friends are singing their hearts out to “All by myself” in the M&S Must-Have cosy jumpers, to “Must-Have in laws impress” where David Gandy is washing up in his M&S waistcoat and marigolds doing just that. “For the Must-Haves that make Christmas” has three fun alternative endings that all conclude at Christmas you “Must-Have a little bit of magic and a whole lot of sparkle.”

Vicki Maguire, Chief Creative Officer at Grey London said, “This is a celebration of all the M&S “Must-Haves” that help make Christmas so special. It’s been an amazing team effort to create this campaign and we can’t wait to hear what customers think.”

What do this season’s most stylish Christmas jumpers, a classic Bridget Jones scene and, the nation’s favourite, Holly Willoughby have in common? You’ve guessed it – they are all in this year’s hotly anticipated M&S Clothing & Home Christmas campaign which launches on social media at 6am on Tuesday 13th November 2018.

Constructed around the “Must-Have” moments that make Christmas truly special for busy families, the campaign covers everything from decorating the tree to dealing with the washing up on Christmas day, via Christmas parties, Christmas movies and even Christmas present envy.

Starring M&S ambassador Holly Willoughby, the campaign highlights the important role that M&S plays for families at Christmas, and features a once in a lifetime cameo of David Gandy gamely sporting marigolds to tackle the Christmas Day washing up mountain. Crucially, the campaign is also focussed on customer Christmas missions. In addition to the 60 second ad, M&S is launching three 20 second edits for its customers’ biggest Christmas “Must-Have” categories – partywear, knitwear and sleepwear. Each advert and additional content will launch to coincide with when customers are buying these products based on extensive research and analysis of search and sales data. This starts with partywear on Thursday 15th November and runs throughout December with knitwear and sleepwear.

Set to “Give a Little Love” by Tom Jones this fun-filled gallop through Christmas, created by Grey London, M&S is looking to win the hearts, minds and wallets of busy families who are always on the go, which is why the campaign is designed to be mobile first with content that plays out across digital platforms. As well as the all-important TV ad, M&S will be using a variety of channels from shoppable Instagram, programmatic display and Google Shopping in this fully integrated campaign.

What’s more, there are a number of alternative endings to the advert that add additional humour and wit to keep customers engaged throughout the season.

The ad will go live at 6am on social media, with the first TV airing during Good Morning Britain which is watched by millions of families as they get ready for their day.

The “Must-Haves” that make the Christmas campaign will be seen by customers across all their interactions with M&S – from social posts, to store window displays, to visuals on the M&S.com homepage. Colleagues will even be wearing the “Must-Haves” in M&S’s biggest stores as they help customers pick stylish outfits and gifts for the festive season. Customers can join in the festive conversation and share their “Must-Haves” using the hashtag #ChristmasMustHaves.

Nathan Ansell, Director of Marketing for Clothing & Home at M&S, said: “For the busy modern family, Christmas is all about quality time together and having some fun – I know it is for mine. And this year we’ve worked incredibly hard to tap into the key moments of the season that matter most to busy mums and dads – from the office party to the evening where you watch the classic Christmas films all together. We’ve built a campaign to show we have the “Must-Have” products to add magic and sparkle to these moments and we’ll be executing it based on detailed research about when customers want and need these products.

“For the High Street there’s no time of year that’s more crucial than Christmas so whether customers are purchasing on the app, on Instagram or in a city centre store we want them to know M&S is the destination for the Must-Haves that make Christmas.”

Holly Willoughby, M&S Brand Ambassador said, “Christmas in the Willoughby household is a pretty big deal! It is such a special time of year, and for me it really is all about family; I absolutely love it. Christmas to us means new PJs for all the family on Christmas Eve, all jumping into our bed Christmas morning to see what Santa has bought us, filling our faces with turkey and mince pies, then a bit of squabbling over the washing up on Christmas afternoon before cuddling up in comfy jumpers to watch a Christmas classic on TV so M&S has pretty much summed up a typical Christmas day, which is why I am so excited to be part of it.”


Advertising Agency Grey London
Chief Creative Officer – Vicki Maguire
Senior Creative – Tom Houser & Christopher Keatinge
Creative – Matthew Kennedy & Georgia Horrocks
Senior Producer – Thea Evely
Assistant Producer – Amie Nedwell
Chief Strategy Officer – Matt Tanter
Planning Director – Sarah Oberman
Senior Planner – Charlie Brenninkmeijer
Group Business Director – Katie Jackson
Business Director – Dana Richter
Account Director – Izzy Falcon
Account Manager – Emilie Jenner
Account Executive – Lucy Patterson
Heads of Comms – Luke Pearson
Production – Independent
Gary Freedman – Director
Danny Cohen – DOP
Verity White – Executive Producer
Chris McBride – Producer
Editing – The Play Room
Adam Spivey – Editor
Rich Woolway – Editor
Post Production – MPC
Louise Unwin – VFX Producer
Dan Sanders – VFX Supervisor
Mike Little – CG Supervisor
Jean-Clement Soret – Colourist
Sound – 750mph
Sam Ashwell – Sound Designer
Mary-Ann D’Cruz – Head of Production
Media – Mindshare
Fleur Stoppani – Chief Client Officer
Olivia Joy – Planning Lead
Alexandria Oliver – Strategy Director
Julie Bolsom – Live Planning
Richard Tudor – Planning



A good Chrismas advert.

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