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Christmas Advert Concept Visuals for M&S

By 27th November 2023January 6th, 2024No Comments
christmas advert concept visual of Sophie Ellis Better putting gifts under the tree

Just as the weather was warming up for summer, I had my Christmas hat on to create some Christmas Advert Concept Visuals for Marks & Spencer

Is it too early to embrace the festive spirit in the summer? Not if you work in advertising. In May this year, I collaborated with the creative minds at Mother, the London-based agency, to create Christmas advert concept visuals for the latest M&S campaign.

Christmas commercials, their grandeur can sometimes feel like a rival to blockbuster movies. Before the masses cast their opinion on the latest flurry of seasonal campaigns, a vast amount of work goes on behind the scenes, even before the cameras start rolling.

How I worked with the client to create Christmas advert concept visuals

Mother’s creative team set the scene; their art directors develop mood boards with visual cues of location, outfits (all from M&S naturally), cast and props. My role was to translate all these ideas into cohesive visuals. The process repeats for each scene featuring different celebrities, locations, and scenarios. These visuals were then fed back into the machine for the design team to add their copywriting before passing them on to a larger internal audience for feedback: Art Directors, Creative Directors, Account Handlers, and Brand and Marketing Managers.

Naturally, revisions are the only constant in this kind of work.

Christmas adverts extend beyond TV screens, reaching audiences through social media, in-store displays, billboards, and magazines. Our task was to align with the developing TV commercial treatment and create visuals to show the campaign’s out-of-home (OOH) components. 

christmas advert concept visual of Hannah Waddingham laying a dinner table
christmas advert concept visual of Tan Francesharing cocktails
christmas advert concept visual of Gingerbread house from M&S 'Thismas advert
OOH display of M&S christmas campaign

The ever-changing world of confidential talent

Whilst I was working on the drawings, the cast of the commercial was still undecided, so as we created the visuals, the characters in each scene were often updated as those top-secret talent contracts were finalised. 

As always, confidentiality was essential with a cast of high-profile celebrities, so I also had to supply another version of the final creative to add blurred faces that preserved the anonymity of the cast. Doing this ensured the wider team could contribute to the creative pitch without revealing the identities of the stars involved. 

Love them or loathe them, it was great to be involved in this major Christmas advert campaign, so just as Britain was warming in the spring-like days of May, I was at my drawing board, imagining sharing mince pies (M&S of course) with national treasure – Hannah Waddingham.

See the project on Mother’s website
See M&S press release
Visit my visualiser portfolio

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