Local families from Porth in the Rhondda were treated to an extra special festive evening last night, as M&S staged the premiere of its Christmas Food TV ad in the school hall of Ysgol Gynradd Llwyncelyn. The primary school’s award-winning choir provides the soundtrack to the ad with a new arrangement of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross, the iconic tune behind the ‘This is not just any’ campaign.
Ahead of the premiere of the 90 second TV ad, M&S rolled out the red carpet and added a touch of festive magic to the school hall. School staff and families were treated to M&S Christmas Food favourites chosen by local store colleagues including Ho! Ho! Ho! sausage rolls (which no buffet should be without this Christmas) and award-winning mince pies, alongside a live performance of the soundtrack by Côr Ysgol Llwyncelyn choir. M&S also surprised the school with a new sign for its’ school gate, announcing “This is not just any school” and written in Welsh.
The award-winning choir from Ysgol Gynradd Llwyncelyn primary school in Wales shot to fame after winning Songs of Praise Choir of the Year in 2018. Following coaching from Justin and Dan Hawkins from rock band The Darkness, the choir’s festive makeover of Albatross will be heard over 350,000 times in stores across the UK with a further 12 million people viewing the advert over the festive period. The school will also be celebrated in 25 M&S stores in Wales with a special poster, showcasing the Welsh choir to all shoppers at the stores entrance.
The ad is set in a festive market with each stall hosted by the M&S product developers behind its delicious Christmas products. With a combined total of over 500 years of food knowledge, the passion and expertise of M&S’ product development team brings to life the quality and innovation behind this year’s range – from M&S Collection Brie en Croute to Sticky Toffee Christmas Pudding. In total, the team has created over 170 new product lines for customers this Christmas.
The ad sees viewers led through the market by M&S Food Celebrity Panel stars – Paddy McGuinness and Emma Willis who sample the products alongside 125 M&S customers and fellow panel members Amanda Holden and Rochelle Humes. Products enjoyed by celebrity tasters include The Perfect Turkey, Torched Winter Berry Pavlova – according to Paddy, “You can tell it’s good because all the kids are quiet” – and, of course, the M&S Collection Mince Pies.
Gavin Ashcroft, leader of Côr Ysgol Llwyncelyn said: “It was a joy to take part in the M&S Christmas Food advert. Before, during and after, the pupils were treated like superstars, including a coaching session from The Darkness! It’s been amazing to welcome M&S into our school, and to choose us as the first people to see the advert has been a real treat for the children, parents and staff. Nadolig Llawen!”
Sharry Cramond, Food Marketing Director at M&S said: “It’s amazing to be in Wales tonight for what is the highlight of my year! Christmas is all about family time and amazing food so who better to premiere our Christmas food TV ad to but families. These weren’t just any families… these were the families of the stars of the ad, the amazing Côr Ysgol Llwyncelyn choir! The choir totally captured our hearts, their voices sprinkled a special kind of magic on our ad which this year focuses on our colleagues showing and telling customers about our fuss free, delicious and great value Christmas food.