CAMPAIGNS: Product Launch - Celebrity hire boosts M&S push-up bra

Client: Marks & Spencer/Sara Lee Courtaulds

PR Team: Jackie Cooper PR

Campaign: Launch of 'Ego Boost' bra

Timescale: May - Feb 2002

Budget: £500,000

One in three UK women wear M&S underwear, but the brand was missing a

share in the push-up bra market.

Clothing supplier Sara Lee Courtaulds (SLC) came on board with the 'Ego

Boost' bra, which has three variations - 'cheeky, naughty and wicked' -

to 'suit a woman's mood'.


To give the bra 'personality' and thereby increase sales.

Strategy and Plan

Jackie Cooper PR plumped for a celebrity campaign featuring Claire

Sweeney, who came to fame playing Lindsey in Channel 4's Brookside, as a


After her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year, it was

felt she had endeared herself to the public as a down-to-earth star,

sharing the qualities of the M&S brand.

Shots of Sweeney wearing the product with a 'cheeky grin' were plastered

around the store in window displays, on counters, etc.

A vehement M&S fan herself, Sweeney was the perfect endorser in

interviews, while her recent celebrity status guaranteed media attention

and wide coverage.

Linking the Ego Boost launch into Claire's upcoming role as the

dare-devil presenter on ITV's new series Challenge of a Lifetime, she

abseiled down the M&S store on London's Kensington High Street to

kick-start the campaign.

Measurement and Evaluation

On launch day, Sweeney was interviewed on Channel 4 show Big Breakfast

and on radio station Heart FM.

Considerable coverage was achieved in women's magazines, for example

Marie Claire, along with plenty of regional coverage, particularly in

her home city, Liverpool.

There was, however, media criticism that the abseiling stunt held up

traffic - and no-one got to see the bra.

In terms of sales, the Ego Boost has averaged £400,000 a week

sales, equating to around seven bras sold every minute.


M&S wanted to capture around 15 per cent of the push-up bra market. The

bra currently holds 24.6 per cent of the market.

This marks a success as the retailer last week unveiled its new

womenswear range, Per Una.

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