Model and quintessential English rose Rosie Huntington-Whiteley plays a glamorous cross between Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy from the "Wizard of Oz" in Marks & Spencer's spectacular new Christmas commercial, released online in the U.K. last night and 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, it 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, via a touch of "Arabian Nights," in a series of fantastical, snowy sequences. The sumptuous spot is stuffed full of products from the retailer, from handbags to food. M&S is also giving its Facebook fans and Twitter followers the opportunity to vote on a name for Rosie's cute terrier; they can choose between Magic and Sparkle (the brand's Christmas tagline).
The campaign was launched just as Marks & Spencer released its 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.