August 3, 2021

M&S Food Christmas advert launches today with charity at its heart

ONE magical range of festive food.  Two million pounds donated to UK charities.  NINE world-famous icons. (plus some very special M&S colleagues)

This is not just ANY Christmas Food campaign…

This year M&S Food is putting charity firmly at its heart.  In a year when charity funding has declined almost 25%, this Christmas M&S Food is proud to announce it will donate £2 million to good causes.

Central to this, M&S Food is shining a light on a number of important charities, partnering with nine world-famous actors who have added their unmistakable voices to nine brand new Christmas food ads- with food so delicious you’ll want to lick the screen!

The iconic voiceover cast have all chosen to work with M&S, selecting charities close to their hearts to which M&S Food will make a donation on their behalf.

And M&S is doing the same for customers. Every time a Sparks customer shops at M&S in-store or online at M&S.com, we will donate to their selected charity, from a range of 35 different causes.

Susie McDonald, CEO of Tender, one of the charities benefiting from the campaign, said:

“Tender believes kindness is key to healthy relationships. It is great to see this so clearly in action through M&S’s campaign; enabling charities to give support to those that need it the most.”

World-famous names

The ad line up is a virtual red carpet of world-famous names and M&S Food will be surprising and delighting customers with the unmistakable voices who will bring its delicious, great quality Christmas food to life like never before.

The ad features the voices of   *DRUMROLL*

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Eddie Redmayne
  • Gillian Anderson
  • Dame Helen Mirren
  • Jeremy Irons
  • Dame Julie Walters
  • Naomie Harris
  • Olivia Colman
  • Tom Hardy

The series of nine ads kicks off today, Friday 6th November, with Olivia Colman voicing the M&S Light Globe Gin Liqueur, Triple Chocolate Panettone, Our Best Ever Smoked Salmon and Collection Mini Beef and Porcini Yorkshires.  On behalf of Olivia, M&S will make a donation split between three charities: Anthony Nolan; Back Up; and Tender Education & Arts.  Each ad will feature the logos of the charities chosen by the actor providing the voice over.

Each week from now until New Year, customers will be treated to a new ad voiced by one of the nine acting icons, showcasing the most delicious, great quality M&S Food.  Listen out amongst others for Tom Hardy bringing Brussels sprouts to life,

Dame Helen Mirren extolling the virtues of rosé prosecco, Chiwetel Ejiofor making mouths water over moreish Plant Kitchen Chocolate Torte and Olivia Colman voicing ‘fancy pants’ Collection Mini Beef and Porcini Yorkshires.

Abigail Look, CEO of Back Up, said:

Olivia’s incredible donation ensures that whatever challenges we face in 2021, we can inspire people affected by spinal cord injury to get the most out of life.”

Olivia Colman says:

“I am delighted to work with M&S Food and lend my voice to a campaign that supports UK charities at a time when they need it the most”.

As well as donations on behalf of the acting icons, M&S Food has selected 10 colleagues from across the UK who are its most active charity volunteers, giving donations to the colleagues’ chosen charities

In total, the Christmas advertising campaign will donate £1 million to good causes.

But, it doesn’t stop there.  This is just part of M&S’s long-term commitment to doing good.  This Christmas M&S Food will donate an additional £1million across a diverse range of charities including Shelter, Together for Short Lives and the 35 Sparks charities that M&S supports.  Through Sparks, M&S has donated £7.3 million since 2015.

Sharry Cramond, Marketing Director, M&S Food says:

“2020 has been a difficult year for all of us but at a time when charities are seeing their incomes fall significantly, we want to make sure that the M&S Food Christmas campaign builds on our existing charity partnerships and gives much-needed support to those that need it most.

“This is not the year for advertising fairy tales – our customers want this Christmas to be as special as possible but have told us that they want to know about the M&S Food must-haves and how we are supporting others.

“All charities featured in the TV ad will receive their donations ahead of Christmas so they can use the money immediately where it’s needed the most and we are indebted to the nine amazing actors who gave their time so willingly to support these great causes.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan said:

“We’re so grateful to both M&S, and our wonderful patron Olivia this Christmas, for this generous donation which will help us add over 800 new donors to the stem cell register; every one representing hope for person with blood cancer or blood disorder searching for a second chance of life through a stem cell match.”

The advertising campaign will go live at 9am across social media and on TV.  M&S Food aims to reach more than  47 million adult shoppers across the UK during the campaign with a targeted mix of TV, social media and print, ensuring M&S Food is front of mind throughout the festive season with family shoppers across the UK.  On launch day alone, the ad will be seen by 7.2 million people on YouTube.

Alongside the advertising, M&S Food will also run festive editions of its popular What’s New at M&S tasting panel, now in its third year.  This self-filmed content featuring top celebrity tasters Amanda Holden, Emma Willis, Paddy McGuinness and Rochelle Humes, sees the tasters review new products, sharing them with their combined nine million Instagram followers. Since the first lockdown, viewing figures have increased by two and a half times.  This autumn M&S welcomed the addition of two new tasters: TV presenter, Andi Peters and Olympic medallist, Tom Daley.

And, not forgetting Tik Tok!  Since launching on this platform in August, M&S has gained over 25,000 followers.  The weekly Percy Pig videos have become a viral sensation, tapping into trending songs and Tik Tok challenges.   There have been over 4.8 million video views across all social channels since launch in September.  Look out for a very special festive special today, live from 11am.

Please visit the M&S website to watch the ad.