M&S Makes Private Brand Sexy

UK based retailer Marks & Spencer is returning to its much loved ‘This is not just food’ campaign after a 12-year absence in a bid to redefine its food brand and target a more cost-conscious family consumer.

Unveiled at an event in London April 2, the campaign keeps the “food porn” double entendres that originally created a buzz. But the TV commercials have a unique twist. Rather than focusing exclusively on the food, they show customers daydreaming about their favorite M&S private brand food.

“We are bringing back [This is not just food, this is M&S food] to the nation’s screens after a 12-year absence…but we’ve given it a makeover, keeping our trademark ‘food porn’ moments and adding a new twist to surprise and delight customers,” said M&S in a release handed out at the event.

“With an injection of fun and humor, M&S will be stepping into the lives of customers in the key moment they’re daydreaming about delicious M&S food. From Scottish smoked salmon to brand new trifle, this 60-second ad promises to provide great value mealtime inspiration for the nation’s families.”

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.