Ensuring the UK's most famous retailer looks the part isn’t complicated.
If there's one thing that M&S is famed for it is its perpetual comforting presence in the lives of its customers. There is truth in the clichés – the woman who has never bought her underwear anywhere else in 25 years, the man who couldn't eat anything for lunch other than the epic cheddar and celery sandwich. The retailer that's a part of what it means to be British, an old friend.
Spitfire's professional relationship with M&S began back in 2013, working with the in-house studio, brand teams and the lead agency at the time to deliver the digital display components of the major seasonal campaigns across home, fashion, Back to School and food. In so doing, we began to establish a common set of digital values to ensure that M&S' brand was as strong online as it was out in the wild.
It’s taken a while – large multi-headed brands subconsciously resist change – but over the years we've created a new standard for polish and interactivity across the entire suite of online collateral. Placements no longer act as glorified press ads but embody, where possible, a story telling capability of their own. This is no mean feat when you consider the scale of M&S’ output in a given year.
Changing the rules of online fashion 2.0.
Our work across M&S key seasonal fashion campaigns established a new benchmark in high street fashion digital. In addition to carousel creatives that were tied back into stock management functions to enable tactical amendments to product call out, we created deep decision trees that drove highly granular retargeting of ads in response to past user activity as well as weather conditions and event calendars.
Aesthetically, we established new protocols regarding the generation and capture of specific digital assets to ensure that ads looked and felt at home in their ecosystem. And by creating gently evolving image selections and palettes, as well as incorporating video edits from the TVC, we created work that made optimal use of the entirety of the media specifications.
Our ultimate objective was to create a visually arresting and well developed set of ads and endlessly varying set of messages that quietly infused users' daily surfing habits over the course of the launch period. Ultimately, the aim was to tastefully make M&S front of mind in the target audience.
Back to School with M&S
Our work with the Back to School team took everything that we established with fashion and sharpened it for the ultra competitive and unfathomably valuable uniform market.
The multi-stage messaging platform was delivered across a number of dynamic creatives that were developed in conjunction with Mindshare to enable in-placement interrogation of the benefits of various M&S uniform innovations.
Our development teams leveraged specifications across both desktop and mobile to enable deeply engaging experiences that pulled dynamic product details as well as incorporated rich video edited from the TVC.
Promoting food envy in just a few kilobytes
M&S wrote the book when it comes to modern food advertising. From their iconic "This isn't just a..." copy platform through to their produce shot on black, cinematic photography, the standard by which all food retailers measure themselves, was set some time ago.
So when M&S asked us to translate that rich world to digital we jumped at the chance. Using the client's base photography, TVC assets, 3D models and AfterEffects particulates that we had created ourselves, we constructed a suite of ads designed to drop at key snacking times that drove workers from their terminals to the nearest Foodhall.
Some even had a store finder integrated into the mobile formats to help the navigationally challenged reach their cross buns whilst they were still hot!