A major British retailer is aiming to garner increased exposure this holiday season through “random acts of kindness”.
Rather than using celebrities in its Christmas ad, as it did last year, Marks & Spencer (M&S) has signalled that it will be focussing more of its attention on social media outlets and Internet marketing.
In fact, the retailer’s executive director of marketing and international, Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, stated that while M&S would be spending about the same amount of money as it did for the 2013 festive season, most of this will be funnelled into social engagement instead of traditional media.
Operating through the likes of Twitter, Tumbler and Facebook, M&S has been creating viral events in the week leading up to the advert’s first release last Friday on social media. Its first screening on television did not come until Saturday night.
The retailer is acting in lockstep with other big brands, including Debenhams and John Lewis. Both of these stores have also come to incorporate a lot more social interaction into their Christmas marketing campaigns.
Speaking about the campaign to the Guardian, Bousquet-Chavanne commented that this festive period will be both the UK’s “biggest online Christmas”, as well as its most social. He added that this was being fuelled by the increased usage of handheld devices, such as mobiles and tablets.
To help garner interest in the campaign, a number of special events were held by M&S, which were covered by social media. This included giving presents to workers on night shifts and making it snow outside a Cornish school.