Adwatch and Webwatch (May 30) Top 20 recall: Marks & Spencer

Marks and Spencer ad uses Joanna Lumley's campaigning credentials
Marks and Spencer ad uses Joanna Lumley's campaigning credentials

'Shwopping' ad does its job of clearly explaining a worthy and creative concept

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Last week, Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland announced the first drop in full-year profits for the retailer since 2009, which was influenced by a distinct downturn in sales of womenswear.

Bolland puts it down to shoppers' lack of faith in the UK economy and rainfall of what has seemed like biblical proportions over the past six weeks. It's a warning to marketers who seek to appropriate the 'Great British Summer' in the service of their brand - the weather cannot be relied on.

One of M&S' most recent TV outings features Gary Barlow singing Here Comes the Sun as he basks in the glow of a campfire, while Twiggy and Myleene Klass frolic in a hazy meadow. Knowing what we know now of the April/May deluge, this homage to sunshine seems a little premature, if not hubristic.

Fortunately, this 128-year-old bastion of the high street can now turn to Gurkha poster girl and Our Lady of Lost Causes Joanna Lumley to speak on behalf of fairness and value and get M&S doing what it does best: championing common sense.

This TV spot won't appear top of the director's reel, but comprehension is the name of the game, and Lumley is pitch perfect. As a manifesto to introduce a big idea, it does its job of explaining what 'shwopping' is, while exploiting Lumley's campaigning credentials brilliantly.

'Shwopping' is a stroke of genius, forcing something rare: a genuine change in shopping behaviour. If you have something you don't want, you can drop it at M&S when you buy something you do; the aim is for it to recycle as many clothes as it sells.

Not only will you get the extra reward of donating to Oxfam, you also get shot of an item that's been silently nagging you from the back of the wardrobe. What's more, unlike similar collection schemes, M&S takes all the hassle out of it as 'shwoppers' can simply use the drop box by the till in one of its stores.

There is one missed opportunity - perhaps M&S could have rewarded their customers' shwopping with vouchers. Still, the concept makes an important statement about the brand - it's not just about selling more stuff, it's about exercising responsibility through equalisation. It makes us all feel a whole lot better about life, and M&S' role in it.

Goodness me: looking outside, I see the sun's started to shine again ...

Brand strategy verdict: 7 out of 10

This ad shows Marks & Spencer giving shoppers real emotional value.

However, the campaign strategy could have gone further by rewarding their engagement financially.

Adwatch: Top 20 recall
Latest May-23 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 (–) British Gas  CHI&Partners/Carat 54
2= -2 Argos  CHI&Partners/Mindshare 51
2= (–) Aviva  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/
4 (–) More Th>n  VCCP/MediaVest 49
5 (–) Nescafe Azera  Publicis/Mindshare 46
6= (–) Marks & Spencer  Adjust Your Set, RKCR Y&R/
Walker Media
6= -3 Sky  SapientNitro/MediaCom 42
8= (–) Currys/PC World  M&C Saatchi/Walker Media 37
8= (–) Ribena  M&C Saatchi/MediaCom 37
10 (–) Ben & Jerry's  Amalgamated/Mindshare 34
11 (17=) Homebase  Leo Burnett/Mindshare 32
12 (-) Asda  Saatchi & Saatchi/Carat 30
13= (-) Domino's Pizza  Big Communications/
Arena Media
13= (-) Philadelphia  Denhams/PHD 28
15 (-) Young's (Gastro)  Mother/Mediacom 27
16= (-) Burton's Dodgers  VCCP/Universal McCann 24
16= (-) Starburst  DDB Europe/
Zenith Optimedia
18= (-) Dreams  Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe
18= (-) Debenhams  JWT London/Carat 22
20 (-) Wrigley's Extra Ice  AMV BBDO/
Zenith Optimedia
Webwatch: Top 20 recall
Latest Apr-25 Brand Agency/ TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 (–) Sky TV 


2= (–) EDF Energy 

Abbott Mead
Vickers BBDO,
Archibald Ingall

2= -3 O2  VCCP/
4 -1 Virgin Media  Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
5 (–) Currys/PC World  Positive Digital/
Walker Media
6= (–) British Gas  Waste Creative/
6= (–) Vodafone  Dare/OMD UK 21
6= (–) Groupon  In-house/In-house 21
9 (–) BT  Abbott Mead Vickers
10 (–) Charterhouse Claims  Webactiv/In-house 15
11 (-) Churchill  Circus Digital/
12= (-) Nissan Juke  TBWA London + Digitas/
12= (-) WeightWatchers  Razorfish + Saatchi &
Saatchi/OMD UK
14= (-) My Debt Solution  eProspect/In-house 10
14= (-) Open University  20:20 + Matrix/
Rapp Media
14= (-)  In-house/In-house 10
17= (5=) Tesco  The Red Brick Road/
17= (-) Mercedes E-Class SE  Weapon7/Maxus 9
19 (-) Volvo Selekt Dealerships  EHS 4D/Mindshare 8
20 (-) Coi Blood Donation  DLKW Lowe/M4C 7


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