M&S launches major campaign with Tom Kerridge to talk up food provenance

The supermarket plans for nine out of 10 UK adults to see the ads more than 13 times this summer.

In response to demand from consumers to know more about where their food comes from (90% of its customers say value isn’t just about price, but also about taste and provenance), Marks & Spencer has launched the 12-week campaign, ‘Farm to Foodhall’, fronted by chef ambassador Tom Kerridge.

The supermarket chain’s marketing director and director of hospitality, Sharry Cramond, tells The Drum that M&S customers purchase based on a “balanced equation between price and quality,” and that it is ”more about value for money”.

She says: “Our customers are really interested in where the food comes from, the provenance, the farmers that we work with, and also animal welfare.”

Pegged as M&S Food’s most integrated campaign to date, the retailer has planned for nine out of 10 UK adults to see the ads more than 13 times this summer.

In the series, produced by Chief, Kerridge visits farms that produce the M&S Select Farmers range to talk to farmers about how the products are made. Members of RSCPA Assured, the charity that improves the welfare of animal products, also appear in the adverts.

The 12 spots, directed by Nate Camponi, span chicken, strawberries, milk, beef, sourdough and honey. They will run across ITV, Channel 4 and Sky between now and September, as well as on YouTube, with videos also available on an online hub.

“The adverts really talk about the quality credentials and the quality that you can expect from M&S food,” says Cramond.

Along with the TV spots, there is a recipe microsite, paid social and a tie-up with Ocado to buy the ingredients for the recipes. M&S will also send trigger emails to customers within half an hour of them buying a product to tell the story behind their purchase. In total, M&S will have over 15m personalized interactions with customers.

The campaign was spun out from the retailer’s Fresh Market Update, which has been running for four years in collaboration with ITV and ran after the news and weather during the summer months.

“Based on our econometric modeling, Fresh Market Update is the most successful thing we have ever done for the brand, but also in terms of return on investment,” Cramond says.

Kerridge is essential to the campaign, she adds, with the retailer giving him increased creative control over the storytelling of the ads. “Tom Kerridge is one of the most loved and respected chefs in the country. “We’ve done extensive customer research and we have yet to find one single person who doesn’t say ’I love Tom Kerridge’. He’s so loved and so respected and he genuinely cares about the quality of the ingredients.”

Watch the TV Ad here