Creativity

An Elegant Mrs. Claus Is the Badass Star of Marks & Spencer's Heartwarming Holiday Ad

Tom Hooper Directs a Fun Feminist Take on Santa's Other Half

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Nov 14, 2016

Editor's Pick

Marks & Spencer's holiday spot this year is a mischeviously heartwarming tale of Mrs. Claus and the part she plays in making one little boy's Christmas wish comes true.

The film is helmed by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech" and "Les Miserables") via Smuggler and stars the acclaimed stage and screen actress Janet McTeer as Mrs. Claus, who's apparently content with being the perfect stay-at-home wife to Santa. We first encounter her looking stylish but cozy in her chunky knit sweater and slippers, as she hands him his hot tea and warns him not to eat too many mince pies on his journey.

But as soon as Santa slips out to deliver his gifts, Mrs. Claus is on the case helping a little boy, Jake, who wants a special pair of sneakers for his sister to replace the ones he helped ruin. Having changed into a power suit and leather gloves, she sets out in badass style, piloting a cool red helicopter to sort the problem. Naturally, she's back before Santa, who finds her curled up on the sofa reading a book (in a blink and you'll miss it moment) titled "Fifty Shades of Red." "

How was your night?" he asks. "Quiet," she replies. Quite definitely the power behind the throne.

All products featured in the advert are available in selected M&S stores and online. What's more, Mrs Claus will appear beyond the ad, including in social media takeovers featuring her own emoji and hashtag #LoveMrsClaus. She even appeared in a special ad break on Channel 4 on Friday night to officially kick off the festive season on the channel.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of customer, marketing & M&S.com, said in a statement: "Mrs Claus is the result of thousands of conversations that we had with our customers to understand what they want from M&S -- which is warmth, empathy and a touch of humour presented in a modern and contemporary way. She epitomises the huge efforts our customers put in to making the festive season special and represents the love and togetherness that customers want to feel and see in abundance at Christmas."

The spot is the last Christmas campaign by RKCR/Y&R for the retailer. Grey London will take over the account next year -- and will have to do an outstanding job to top this one.

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About

Credits

Date
Nov 14, 2016
Agency:
Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Client:
Marks & Spencer
Executive Creative Director:
Jon Burley
Executive Creative Director:
Danielle Sandler
Creative:
Alice Burton
Creative:
Psembi Kinstan
Business Director:
Matt Delahunty
Account Manager:
Lucy Bugler
Production Company:
Smuggler
Director:
Tom Hooper
Executive Producer:
Patrick Milling Smith
Executive Producer:
Brian Carmody
Managing Director:
Fergus Brown
Producer:
Molly Pope
Production Manager:
Adam Evans
1st AD:
Ben Gill
Director of Photography:
Justin Brown
CAM A Operator:
Justin Brown
Production Designer:
Robin Brown
Casting Director:
Dan Hubbard

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