Model and quintessential English rose Rosie Huntington-Whiteley plays a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" in an elaborate new Christmas commercial for U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer. The ad was released online last night and is set to break on TV later this week.
Directed by Johan Renck (who has shot spots for Agent Provocateur, Absolut and Givenchy as well as music videos such as Madonna's "Hung Up") for agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, the commercial also stars Helena Bonham-Carter as a female Wizard of Oz and male supermodel David Gandy as the Mad Hatter/Scarecrow. It follows "Alice" as she chases after her dog, falls down a manhole and finds herself both in Wonderland and Oz, with a touch of the "Arabian Nights," in a series of fantastical, snowy sequences -- stuffed, too, with products sold by the retailer, from handbags to food.
M&S is asking its Facebook fans and Twitter followers to vote on one of two names for Rosie's cute terrier: Magic or Sparkle, allusions to the brand's "Believe in magic & sparkle" Christmas tagline.
The campaign begins on the heels of Marks & Spencer's latest financial results, in which clothing sales fell 1.5% over six months despite a high-profile autumn campaign featuring Helen Mirren. The chain has struggled in recent years, and investors are looking to its Christmas sales as key to its recovery.