Marks & Spencer is having a sly dig at its famous "food porn" ads from more than a decade ago with a new campaign that reintroduces its "This is not just food, this is M&S Food" slogan.
Created by Grey London, the TV spot replaces the voiceover by actress Dervla Kirwan, whose sultry tones came to define M&S Food ads and have been much parodied. Instead, it features people from all walks of life getting all seductive.
The first ad launches today (3 April) during ITV's This Morning and is live on M&S's YouTube channel. The work will be supported by digital, radio, in-store and social activity. The retailer is also becoming the headline sponsor of ITV's Britain's Got Talent. A social element of the campaign encourages consumers to share their favourite meals, using the #MyMarksFave hashtag.
The 60-second ad opens on a busy railway station. "The next train on platform one is…", a platform announcer says, before her eye is caught by a billboard advertising M&S food and her voice changes from perfunctory to seductive. "Succulent M&S Scottish salmon," she purrs. "Perfectly pan-fried."
A straight-laced TV salesman in a shop is likewise distracted by an image on one of the sets as he attempts to convince a family of the virtues of a television. It leads him to interrupt himself mid-pitch to discuss a "best-ever from M&S" trifle, "fruity compote and tonnes of vanilla custard".
There are other vignettes, with the final one featuring a man cooking for his wife. "This is not just food. This is M&S Food," he says.
The work was written by Stephania Silveira, art directed by Rachel Robinson and directed by Guy Manwaring through Sonny. Media was handled by Mindshare.
It comes a week after M&S appointed fashion specialist ODD to handle its clothing and home account, previously managed by Grey.
The original "This is not just food…" ads were introduced in 2004.