Community groups benefitting from M&S donations feature in this year’s Marks & Spencer Clothing & Home Christmas campaign and TV ad, which launched last week.
The 2022 campaign brings to life how a gift given from M&S this Christmas will keep on giving, with the retailer to donate £1 million to 1,000 community groups and good causes through Neighbourly.
Produced by Partizan and directed by Michael Gracey, who also directed The Greatest Showman, M&S’s TV commercial is set on Christmas Day on a quiet cul-de-sac and features a series of gifting moments. Every time an M&S gift is opened, there is an unexpected occurrence that disrupts family Christmases and draws them to the street outside to find it taken over by a range of real-life community groups who will benefit from M&S donations – from Hertfordshire-based bikers to brass bands from Bolton.
Neighbourly and M&S worked together to identify the 1000 community groups who will receive funding – as well as shortlisting nine to feature in the TV campaign.
The nine are:Kaotic Angels, UK: a community group of serving and former military personnel, police, firefighters, ambulance workers and other frontline emergency responders that has helped provide meals for over 65,000 people as well as helping veterans and the homeless throughout the lockdown. They have given out over 200,000 meals since the start of the pandemic. Mintridge Foundation, UK-wide: founded in 2015 to provide positive sporting role models for children, the Mintridge Foundation assists young people of all ages, abilities and physical capabilities to develop confidence and resilience, and creates awareness of the importance of mental and physical wellbeing through sport. Kearsley Youth Brass Band, Bolton: who want to ensure income is no barrier to learning to play instruments, providing tuition, uniforms and instruments to members free of charge. The group’s members are aged between 5 and 83, and perform at local events. Valley Invicta Primary School Majorettes, Kent: an after-school club of 12 girls and the brainchild of a former British Solo majorette champion whose aim was to share her passion and introduce the activity to as wide an audience as possible. The Valley Invicta Primary School Majorettes have previously only ever performed on their school playground. Bengali Sanskriti Club, Peterborough: a female-founded dance troupe of around 70 families belonging to the Indian Bengali community. Started by women who had moved to the UK from India & united by their love of dance, the troupe name means “Colours of Seasons” & brings together both older and younger members of their community. Caenhill Countryside Centre, Devizes: a not-for-profit community project helping young people & those in care. Rescuing animals in a 70-acre farm, they are a team of volunteers with ages ranging from 4 to 86, focusing on education & wellbeing, bringing countryside learning to children, young people and communities. Paddington Arts, London: running for over thirty years, they hold creative arts workshops in dance, drama, singing, steelpan, carnival arts, video and new media for children and young people aged 6-26, including a wide programme of activities for children and young people with disabilities, supporting inclusion in mainstream activities, and targeted work for young people with autism. The Y Centre Roller-skaters, Hastings: an award-winning community of roller-skaters and skate performers, dedicated to offering a safe and welcoming environment for children and young people in the Hastings area.
The creative is being executed across a 360 channel-mix – from LED light-up bus wraps to dynamic digital billboards and print cover wraps and, for the first time ever, the advert premiered with a simultaneous ident launching across live and on-demand at 9pm on Channel 4, on Friday 4 November. The campaign also features Harry Styles’s ‘Treat People with Kindness’.
Anna Braithwaite, M&S Clothing & Home Marketing Director, said:
“Christmas is a time that brings families and communities together and we know customers are determined to protect those celebrations. Through our campaign and product ranges we want to help make that possible; providing much needed funds to the incredible groups that light up our local communities and by doubling down to deliver the exceptional trusted value our customers want – as they seek out more considered, stylish and thoughtful gifts. There’ really is no better feeling than giving – and we hope this, feel-good campaign puts a smile on our customers’ faces this festive season!”
Steve Butterworth, Neighbourly CEO, said:
“M&S’s Christmas campaign is a brilliant celebration of kindness and a timely reminder of the importance of community at a time when support at a local level is needed more than ever.
“Findings from our recent community survey found that 83% of local groups are already experiencing a rise in demand on their services yet 69% reported they’ve found it harder to find funds in the last three months. We’re delighted to have partnered with M&S on the distribution of this £1million fund which will make a huge difference to groups in our network over the winter period. This campaign builds on a long-standing community strategy that has seen M&S support over 6000 good causes in the Neighbourly network and donate nearly 50 million meals worth of surplus food.”
The Neighbourly Foundation will distribute the funds to 1,000 community groups across the UK and ROI.