Morrisons encourages Xmas indulgence as sales slip further

Morrisons is encouraging consumers to enjoy an indulgent festive season with its new ad campaign using the tagline, "Go on, it's Christmas," as the supermarket looks to reverse declining sales.

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The retailer today revealed that like-for-like third-quarter sales fell 2.4% year on year, although its expanding chain of M Local convenience stores helped total sales rise by 1%.

Morrisons also confirmed details of its long-awaited online grocery offering. From January, it will pilot the joint venture with Ocado in Warwickshire, before expanding to Yorkshire and covering half of the UK – including London – by the end of 2014.

To boost sales over the coming months, the brand is investing in a heavyweight Christmas marketing push starring TV presenter duo Ant and Dec, kicking off tomorrow (8 November) during ITV’s 'Coronation Street'.

The ad, by DLKW Lowe, shows Ant and Dec being serenaded by a dancing gingerbread man to the sound of 'Be Our Guest' from Disney’s 'Beauty and The Beast'. He is accompanied by animated elf-sized versions of Morrisons’ M Kitchen chefs.

Belinda Youngs, Morrisons corporate brand marketing director, said, "Our Christmas advertising is all about celebrating great-tasting food and great prices, offering the very best value for money at Christmas.

"We’ve been working with Ant and Dec all year and who better to help us celebrate than the nation’s favourite duo?"

Last year’s Morrisons campaign was cleared by the ad watchdog, after 26 viewers complained it reinforced "outdated stereotypes of men and women".

Separately, Morrisons has teamed up with to global in-store media specialists Mood to create an audio message from one its employees, Abi Alton, who is currently competing ITV’s ‘X Factor’.

The clip, which will be played out at all Morrisons stores, hears Alton say: "I just wanted to say thank you so much to all colleagues and customers for their support in my X Factor journey so far."

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