It seems the politically correct campaign led to the nauseous Liz Jones of the Daily Mail have won.M&S have apparently decided to ditch their glamorous ad campaigns that revitalised their stuffy image. The ads, which starred a host of gorgeous women from Dannii Minogue, VV Brown and Twiggy, not to mention Lizzy Jagger and Erin O Conner, are now going to be no more.
This is a result of criticism that the brand has received from the press. Liz Jones wrote in the Daily Mail: ‘Never mind yacht frolickers Twiggy, Dannii Minogue, where is the bigger woman on that boat, or the woman in her 70s? Ignore them at your peril.And… ditch the TV ad campaign’
I think this is a real shame. I personally loved those ads, particularly the first couple, which used music from Sailor and ELO and showed the girls in a range of amazing outfits. They were glossy and stylish, and totally covetable, but attainable at the same time. It was hard to believe that the outfits on display were really from M&S. And it seemed a master stroke having a teenaged Lizzy Jagger modelling clothes from the same store as the 60 something Twiggy.
The Christmas ads became a much looked forward to part of Christmas. I loved the one that featured the girls looking like they were having the Grease sleepover in curlers and pj’s, singing along to the Bee Gees. These ads had it all, beautiful women who we actually liked, great outfits that were well styled, and a touch of humour as Peter Kaye skated across the screen.
But now they will be no more. And Liz Jones was right on some level. Maybe the adverts were crying out for a septagenarian to reflect some of M&S’s traditional market, maybe they did need a plus sized girl to balance out all the perfect figures on display. But surely this could’ve been achieved. There are some stunning plus sized models and celebrities out there who could have enhanced the ads ( Ruth Jones, Dawn French, Marquita Pring would all have been fabulous), whilst I would’ve loved to see the glamorous Honor Blackman or Sue Nichols added to the mix. But did the adverts actually alienate anyone? Did the lack of a plus sized girl in the ad campaign mean that size 16’s shopped elsewhere. I don’t think so. Did the older generations stop shopping in M&S because the adverts were full of beautiful younger women? Of course not. Today, the age barrier to fashion is more blurred than ever with 60 year olds wearing jeans, whilst teenagers wear what can only be described as Granny chic. My grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday this year with a party where she wore leggings and a tunic!
But to say that the ads showing the women in glossy surroundings were a turn off due to recession just seems rubbish. In times of recession we need more escapism, not less. Face the facts, we still watch travel programmes about holidays we can’t afford, watch Sex in the City reruns about women with the most amazing wardrobes imaginable and buy glossy magazines featuring clothes we’ll never wear. Escapism is one of the most enjoyable parts of life, and the M&S ads were a few minutes of escapism between the dreariness of Coronation Street and the news programmes. I’ll really miss them.
- BHS A/W 2011/12 – Prepare to be amazed! (fashion-mommy.com)
- Fashion-mommy Loves -a review of April style. (fashion-mommy.com)
- Our Tribute To This Weeks Lash Queen: Twiggy (lashem.wordpress.com)
- Calling All You Designers Out There! (stylebyladyg.wordpress.com)
- Marks and Spencer boss Marc Bolland backs battered high street (mirror.co.uk)
- M&S: ‘We Believe In The British High Street’ (news.sky.com)
- The UK’s Most Glamorous Strut Their Stuff (popsugar.com)