Marks & Spencer features Antonio Banderas in its Christmas ad along with its established cast of female celebrities, including Twiggy, Erin O'Connor, Lizzie Jagger and Laura Bailey, writes Nikki Sandison. Myleene Klaas has also appeared in recent M&S ads and earlier this month red-headed model Lily Cole joined the celebrity line-up. Cole will promote the Spring/Summer 2008 range for M&S' Limited Collection.
Tesco paid the Spice Girls £1m each to appear in its Christmas ads. The supermarket's campaigns draw heavily on celebrity input, be it in the form of voiceovers by the likes of Bob Hoskins, Graham Norton and Julie Walters, or with turns in front of the camera by stars including Martin Clunes, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg and Martine McCutcheon.
Jamie Oliver has been the face of Sainsbury's since 2000 and features in its latest Christmas ad. The spot starts with a thought bubble emerging from Oliver's head showing a giant, fantasy food workshop designed like Santa's toy factory. The celebrity chef is then seen walking around the workshop, which is staffed by an army of little helpers, as he offers tips on making Christmas food.
Using celebrities can be risky though because it relies on them behaving in a way that reflects well on the brand. M&S had to drop supermodel Jodie Kidd as the face of its credit card and financial services campaign, following an undercover drugs sting by the News of the World. The model, who had a £250,000 contract with the retailer for its M&S Money services, was dropped by the retailer after she was caught organising cocaine to the News of The World's undercover "fake sheikh" reporter Mazher Mahmood.
In a very similar situation, Fake Bake, the bottled tan firm, recently dropped model and former 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' contestant Sophie Anderton from her £100,000 contract after she was exposed snorting cocaine and offering sex for money in a News of the World sting.
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com