Marks & Spencer's Christmas ad: watch the 150-second version

M&S: Rosie Huntington-Whitely stars in retailer's Christmas ad
M&S: Rosie Huntington-Whitely stars in retailer's Christmas ad

Marks & Spencer has unveiled its fairytale-inspired Christmas ad, featuring Rosie Huntington-Whitely, David Gandy and Helena Bonham-Carter, on its social media channels and website.

The ad, by M&S’s creative agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, premiered online at 6pm last night, two days before its TV launch, which will take place on Wednesday 6 November during ITV’s ‘Coronation Street’.

The "Believe in magic and sparkle" campaign stars Huntington-Whiteley playing a girl who loses her dog on a snowy night. The full ad is two minutes and 30 seconds long, with an orchestral soundtrack.

Huntington-Whiteley falls down a manhole trying to find her pet, and arrives in a fantasy world referencing the children’s stories 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Red Riding Hood', 'Aladdin' and 'The Wizard of Oz'.

She enters an enchanted snowy forest, where Gandy hosts a "Mad Hatter’s tea party" similar to the scene in 'Alice in Wonderland'. As Huntington-Whiteley’s journey continues, she is chased by giant playing cards, rides on a flying carpet and walks down a yellow brick road.

Bonham-Carter plays the wizard, appearing as an imposing floating green head, before remarking, "Love the shoes", to Huntington-Whiteley.

Huntington-Whiteley returns to the real world, where her dog is returned safely to her by Bonham-Carter, this time dressed in normal clothes. The spot closes with the end line, "Believe in magic and sparkle", reviving M&S’s phrase used in previous Christmas ads.

Johan Renck directed the campaign through Black Label Productions. He has also directed videos for Madonna and major designer fashion houses. The creative team at RKCR/Y&R was Pip Bishop and Chris Hodgkiss.

Mark Roalfe, the chairman and executive director of RKCR/Y&R, said: "Magic and sparkle is what M&S brings to the nation every Christmas. This year’s film is a beautiful fashion-fantasy romp through our favourite fairy tales."

The ad also highlights M&S’s festive products, and a further set of shorter ads focusing on the "Mad Hatter’s tea party’ table will showcase M&S’s Christmas party food range.

The 90-second version ad will air on TV for the first time during the ‘Coronation Street’ ad break tomorrow night. The 150-second version will air for the first time during ‘Downton Abbey’ on Sunday 10 November.

Media planning and buying was through Walker Media.

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