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Leading Ladies

Client: M&S
Brand: M&S GM


To restore M&S’s fashion mojo, grow sales and market share of womenswear and increase share price.


Style with substance. We set out to create a fashion first by launching the AW13 collection with women of real substance, both famous and not so famous, who have achieved greatness in their respective fields, all shot together by Annie Leibovitz.
Britain’s Leading Ladies were the perfect ambassadors for ‘style with substance’.  From dedicated athletes, dancers and campaigners, to skilled entertainers and creative visionaries, these women are all pioneers in their field.
They were a talking point in their own right and a talking point for the brand that celebrated them together for the first time.


The impact of getting the fashion key opinion formers on board was such that the resulting PR value was £4m and campaign recognition PRE launch was 31%, before any of the paid-for ads hit.

The knock on effect from the buzz was fantastic. M&S’s post campaign evaluation data showed that 35% agreed it made them think differently about M&S for clothing and made them want to find out more about the clothes, leading to an increase in traffic to M&S.com of over 11%. 47% saw the campaign as stylish with 60% saying it had fashions to suit everyone.  With example consumer quotes such as ‘I would be proud to wear these classic designs with modern touches’, the campaign certainly built the brand’s style credentials.  And they loved the choice of Leading Ladies, seeing them as “independent iconic British women, inspirational yet attainable”, resulting in the digital & content element of the campaign reaching over 10 million unique people, with the videos being viewed over 600,000 times.

The ultimate metric to indicate whether M&S’s mojo was back is the brand momentum score (measured by the claimed perception that M&S is ‘on the up’), which at 27% post-campaign is best year on year performance since May 2011.  And this momentum score was clearly driven by the campaign, with a 15% difference in the measurement between recognizers and non-recognizers of our Leading Ladies.

Sales in September were up 10% year on year and accelerated M&S ahead of the market by +3% and M&S achieved its highest share price since 2008. In terms of restoring confidence in the City, shares in M&S traded at over 500 pence on September 9th for the first time since January 2008 and then went on to peak at 513 pence on September 16th.

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