Released today, it coincides with family film Paddington 2, which is in cinemas on Friday.
The advert, which was pitched to M&S by Studio Canal, features a similar plot to the highly acclaimed follow-up film – Paddington apprehends a thief whom he believes to be Father Christmas.
The advert is intended to tie in with M&S’ ongoing Spend it Well campaign, which is the first to unite M&S’ food arm with clothing and home.
Produced by the same agency, Grey London, the ‘Spend it Well’ tagline is incorporated into the Paddington campaign alongside a #LovetheBear hashtag.
M&S did not disclose its budget for the advert but did say that the campaign cost less than last year’s Mrs Claus advert.
As part of its partnership with Studio Canal, M&S has bagged the ‘gold slot’ at every Paddington 2 screening, with the full 90-second version of the advert shown right before the film begins.
Cinema advertising is a first for the retailer, which will also screen the advert on TV, with the first broadcast during Pride of Britain Awards on Tuesday night.
Shorter versions of the advert will be run on all main social media platforms.
M&S will support the TV and digital campaign with a dedicated shop-in-shop, another first for the retailer. Most of the 90 products in ‘The Paddington Shop’ will be in kidswear, with Paddington-branded marmalade also on sale in M&S Foodhalls.
Also a first for M&S is the advert’s accompanying book, profits from which will be donated to the NSPCC’s Childline service.
“People are looking to escape into that Christmas bubble – this is the one time of year you can put reality on hold”
Rob Weston, M&S
M&S will launch the book with readings at selected stores around the country.
The retailer is also running screenings of Paddington 2 for Sparks members’ families and in the 10 communities it supports via its CSR initiative Plan A.
Executive director of customer, marketing and M&S.com Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said that he believed that “the nation’s general mood was looking for positive signals” and that M&S had strived to create a “disruptive, memorable but also commercially impactful… rendezvous with the Great British public.”
He added: “Paddington has enchanted children and families all over the world for nearly 60 years which is why we couldn’t turn down the chance to bring the wonderfully endearing, much-loved British character and his world into the heart of our Christmas campaign this year.”
Brand and marketing director Rob Weston said: “One of the things that came through in our Christmas research is that it’s been a really hard year with lots of bad news.
“People are looking to escape into that Christmas bubble – this is the one time of year you can put reality on hold.
“So, in many ways, this plays into exactly what people were asking us to do, to let [them] escape and enjoy the best the season has to offer.”
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