M&S Christmas 2023 TV advert sees Hannah Waddingham, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Tan France and Zawe Ashton star in festive dilemmas

Marks and Spencer has unveiled its Christmas 2023 TV advert for fashion and home with the thought-provoking seasonal message that this year, viewers should embrace the festive traditions they love - and ditch the ones they prefer not to endure.

The Love Thismas (Not Thatmas) advert, which premieres in full tonight at 9pm on ITV, features actress Hannah Waddingham, singer and podcaster Sophie Ellis-Bextor, style expert Tan France and actress Zawe Ashton, each starring in scenes in which they face a different seasonal dilemma (while, of course, wearing M&S fashion and surrounded by M&S homes and Christmas products).

Set to a cover of Meatloaf’s I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Ray BLK, the campaign nods to the pressures of expectations at Christmas, and the efforts we make so that the festive season is special for loved ones. It was devised by creative agency MOTHER and director Ally Pankiw, best known for Feel Good and Black Mirror.

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor said she was excited to be part of one of the biggest TV ad campaigns of the year. “My kids all still love the magic of Christmas, so it’s a really exciting time in our household – we love hosting Christmas, so having a house-full is when I’m happiest. We’ve got so many Christmas traditions in our family, which we add to each year.”

Hannah Waddingham wears M&S Collection dress £49.50 and sandals, £39.50.Hannah Waddingham wears M&S Collection dress £49.50 and sandals, £39.50.
Hannah Waddingham wears M&S Collection dress £49.50 and sandals, £39.50.

Hannah Waddingham said: “I love the build-up to Christmas and all the magic and sparkle that comes with it. If I'm perfectly honest, I'd be happy to start it all in November. Getting glammed up and spending time with loved ones and family is something I look forward to the most, so filming this campaign really got me in the festive spirit.”

Tan France said: “I’ve loved M&S since I was a child, and so to be included in this campaign is such an exciting moment for me. I love celebrating Christmas with my kids and all the festivities that come with it (yes - even those home-made decorations).”

Zawe Ashton added: “I have a special place in my heart for M&S. I can’t wait to really embrace the season and make the most of every minute with my family.”

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M&S carried out extensive research before making the advert. M&S Clothing & Home marketing director Anna Braithwaite said those watching the advert would be able to relate to the cast and their dilemmas.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor wears M&S Collection dress, £49.50.Sophie Ellis-Bextor wears M&S Collection dress, £49.50.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor wears M&S Collection dress, £49.50.

“Before we created Love Thismas (Not Thatmas), we spoke to hundreds of our customers and they all told us that, at Christmas, they feel this pressure of having to worry about and plan so many things. We know it can often feel like the list is never-ending so this year we decided to celebrate and empower our customers to just do the things they love.”

The soundtrack adds to the tongue-in-cheek spirit of the campaign. “Celebrating the honest truth of Christmas, the campaign is inspired by the insight that, for many, it can be a challenge striking the balance between celebrating the things we love about the holidays, and taking on some things we might not enjoy as much but feel obliged to do anyway,” said M&S. The advert will premiere in full at 9pm during Payback on ITV tonight.

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