Marketers call it institutional advertising. We call experience. Every time a brand adopts an emotional connection to deliver a message using old memories, feelings or beliefs, they are connecting a brand with a subconscious part of its customers.

It creates an unaware relationship between customer and brand. Branding agencies benefit from trend moments, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and President’s Day, where they can quickly build a relationship between cultural experiences, emotions, and real value engagements.

M&S 2016 Christmas Ad - 

Researchers from Pew Research Center, Michael Lipka, and David Masci found out that 90% of Americans – and 95% of Christians – celebrate Christmas. The ad agency hired by Marks & Spencer, RKCR/Y&R, is using a Christmas campaign in a creative way to fortify Marks & Spencer’s emotional connection with its audience by reinforcing the lengths people go to to make Christmas special.

The former Executive Director Customer, Marketing and M&, Patrick Bousuqet-Chavanne said “Emotion has always been part of the M&S brand from stores to our expression. We are dialing it up this year. We heard the customer say, ‘celebrate the moment with us, make it resonate more'.”

Strategy and Channels

The TV ad first appeared on Nov 11th, and the company is including digital by adding it to its website and email list with more than five million loyal subscribers. Besides the TV ad, social media will be an experience connector between M&S and customers. They created a hashtag and an emoji specially designed for this marketing campaign. Also, Mrs. Claus’ will be giving out casual acts of kindness to 15,000 customers.

Mrs. Claus


Digital agencies are following the lead. Pew Research Center points out that in the USA, 68% of adults have smartphones (up from 35% in 2011). Therefore, M&S has a “product layer” of advertising that is mobile-led in line with personal calendars and Google searches.


To measure all the effort that the Tale of Mrs. Claus is aimed to drive to the M&S brand, the creative agency will be monitoring sales, tracking brand metrics such as social sentiment, brand momentum score and how the campaign is making people feel.

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