Debenhams Christmas spot to skirt John Lewis territory

Debenhams: retailer launches first Christmas ad campaign in six years
Debenhams: retailer launches first Christmas ad campaign in six years

Debenhams' first Christmas campaign in six years will follow a young woman on her journey home to the country with an evocative soundtrack, in a change of approach from its 2006 ad.

The lead, 20-year-old model Morven McSween, is seen wearing a Jonathan Saunders coat throughout the ad as she walks home encountering various people preparing for Christmas, before arriving home to find her five-year-old brother waiting.

The ad, created by JWT, is markedly different to the last Christmas campaign that ran in 2006 and featured a dancing modern Santa (see second video below).

The return to Christmas advertising is part of the company's increasing investment in its brand, in contrast with a previous focus on "immediate sales return in tough trading conditions", according to marketing director Richard Cristofoli.

Cristofoli said the retailer now felt prepared to launch its 'Christmas Made Fabulous' push as part of an "evolution" of its 'Life Made Fabulous' activity, which began in summer 2011.

Debenhams has used the backing track 'Illumielle' by German composer Jo Blankenberg  who has worked on movies including 'Harry Potter' and 'X Men', in order to create a cinematic feel.

Cristofoli admitted the campaign now put it "in the John Lewis and M&S territory", but claimed its strategy was not dictated by competitors.

He said: "It is about having the right strategy for us and rebuilding recognition of the brand. The good news is [using 'Illumielle'] does take us away from using an old track recorded by a young artist, which lots of other people do in various shapes or forms."

The Christmas ad will feature Designers at Debenhams newcomer Jenny Packham for the first time, alongside stalwart designers Julien Macdonald and Henry Holland.

The campaign will be supported by a 'Christmas Made Fabulous' website, which will encourage people to share photos of "fabulous" Christmas moments, hold discussions about finding the perfect present and share unique recipes for the season.

Every week, Debenhams will give away prizes to people who have shared content on the site and further participation on Twitter and Facebook will be encouraged by promoted tweets that feature the #christmasmoments hashtag.

TV activity will launch on Wednesday (7 November) after being debuted today on social media sites, with television spots due to run until 15 December.

Media planning and buying is being handled by Carat.

Debenhams entering Christmas advertising again comes against a background of a 4.2% increase in profits and like-for-like sales up 2.3% for its full year.

Jo Blankenburg

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers