Marks & Spencer puts local communities at heart of Christmas campaign

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Creative collective House 337 has launched a Christmas campaign for Marks & Spencer Clothing & Home that celebrates the generosity behind an M&S gift and will see the retail giant donate £1 million to the Neighbourly Foundation, a charity that supports local community causes across the UK.

M&S to help communities at Christmas

Positioning Marks & Spencer as the most thoughtful destination for stylish gifting this Christmas, the campaign called “Gifts that Give”, shows how the gifts consumers choose from M&S help support local good causes. 

The partnership with charity Neighbourly will see Marks & Spencer donate £1,000 to 1,000 different community groups across the UK.

The campaign features real local causes, with over 70 cast members taking part in the brand’s most diverse ad to date, including individuals from The Kaotic Angels Club, Bengali Sanskriti Club Peterborough, Paddington Arts Dance Group, Valley Invicta Primary School at Eastborough’s Majorettes, the Kearsly Brass Band, Caenhill Countryside Centre and the Y Centre Skaters.

Anna Braithwaite, M&S Clothing and Home Marketing Director, said: “When we found out that many charitable groups and organisations are experiencing a drop in funding, we knew we had to put community spirit right at the heart of this year’s campaign and create something that would make people smile.

“Gifts that give is a heart-warming, feel-good and colourful celebration of the unsung heroes that do so much for so many. M&S has always been there for the nation. 

“Through our partnership with Neighbourly, we’re thrilled to be supporting 1,000 of these incredible organisations this Christmas and shining a spotlight on the positive and lasting impact they make in their communities.”

Zara Ineson, Executive Creative Director at House 337, said: “Here’s the thing. Gifting is less about the present itself, than the thought and kindness that sits behind the gift. 

“So what better way to celebrate that than a generous charitable act at the centre of the campaign? 

“Over the last few years, we’ve all been striving to connect with and support our communities more, and as charities are struggling through the cost of living crisis, it felt like a timely moment for M&S to partner with Neighbourly and help make a difference.”

The campaign was produced by Partizan and directed by Michael Gracey (the Greatest Showman). 

It features music by Harry Styles, with the ad’s soundtrack “Treat People with Kindness” marking only the second time he has allowed one of his tracks to be used on an advert. 

In keeping with the campaign’s theme, Harry Styles is kindly donating his fee to homeless charity, Centrepoint.

“There’s nothing quite like the magic of Christmas,” said Gracey, “but bringing these communities together with the creatives from House 337 and the charity the Neighbourly Foundation felt like we have really tapped into the spirit of Christmas. 

“This is much more than a Christmas campaign, it’s a celebration of community,” he said.

The campaign will run for six weeks across TV, VOD, cinema, digital, social and print.