David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in the Exotic"
20s
8 September 2016
UK High Street Retailers

And so a farewell to all this... perhaps. Marks & Spencer's decision to shift their business from one end of Martin Sorrell's corridor to another will see Grey London creating the retailer's advertising after their lengthy relationship with Rainey Kelly is brought to an end. It's pretty much impossible to fault the work created by the outgoing agency for M&S's food offer.

It's been effective, too, with a strong year-on-year increase in food revenue. Clothing, alas, is a different story but no serious analyst would contend this is the fault of advertising alone.

There has certainly been an improvement in the way food looks in TV advertising as a whole but M&S always appear to have been several steps ahead of the competition. Progress which has been enhanced by the astonishing work of Foodfilm's MichaŽl Roulier and Philippe Lhomme in the last couple of years. It remains to be seen whether Grey will consider the French geniuses surplus to requirements but - if that's the case - we imagine the supermarkets may form a disorderly queue in a bid to win their services.

In the meantime, let's enjoy their final hurrahs for M&S under the Rainey Kelly banner, including this splendid celebration of all things prawn.

Maltesers
"Theo's Dog"

Matt said:

Brilliant! Is this a world first?


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Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in the Exotic"
20s
8 Sep 2016
And so a farewell to all this... perhaps. Marks & Spencer's decision to shift their business from one end of Martin Sorrell's corridor to another will see Grey London creating the retailer's advertising after their lengthy relationship with Rainey Kelly is brought to an end. It's pretty much impossible to fault the work created by the outgoing agency for M&S's food offer.

Marks & Spencer
"The Patron's Lunch"
10s
6 Jun 2016
Sunday 12th June will see The Mall in St James's Park host The Patron's Lunch, a celebration of the Queen's unwavering support for charitable causes. For those who can't make it to the shindig proper, Marks & Spencer have a specially-picked range of picnic favourites to help get into the spirit of the occasion, with pork pies and trifles depicted with the store's customary razzle-dazzle.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Aroma"
20s
26 May 2016
Jolly nice as ever, this shortish spot for the Marks and Spencer Spirit of Summer range steers our thoughts towards barbecues and salads and the pleasure of eating outdoors. We can more or less smell the aromatic smoke and feel the heat of sizzling sausages stinging our eyeballs, while sticky marinades and the viscous juices of fruit dribble down our chins.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Rhythm"
30s
25 May 2016
This is almost the best of these films but the curious decision to return to the campaign's familiar music halfway through derails it a bit. It still deserves its five stars as the opening sequence is sensational... but what follows is a bit puzzling, the sequence is crying out for the music from the first half to keep playing.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Fiesta"
30s
10 May 2016
Marks & Spencer look to the Americas for inspiration as they strive to bring colourful nosh to our plates this summer. The campaign's familiar jingle receives a fiesta injection as the screen is painted with swirling tropical fruits, decorative chillies, and a carnival of fiery and refreshing tastes. Come rain or shine this summer, the retailer have the tastiest colour palette around.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Christmas"
40s
10 Nov 2015
It seems completely impossible, but just when you think M&S couldn't improve on their food ads they take them to a whole new level. This stunning film for their Christmas range is in a league of its own - so inventive, so colourful, and so accomplished that it can't really be compared to anything else.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Fire"
20s
7 Oct 2015
Bubbling, fiery and richly coloured, the ingredients in this autumnal spot for M&S are evocative of all that's good about the season. Slatherings of passata - fire engine red - add vibrancy to the comforting qualities of pizza dough; and crushed peppercorns in salami slices add piquancy on top. You can almost smell the wood burning to melt that pristine mozzarella which brings each separate flavour into tiny taste bombs of deliciousness. Yum.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Spice"
20s
9 Sep 2015
You can imagine various foodstuffs sitting on the shelf wishing that one day they'll receive the M&S treatment. These ads do a sublime job of making ingredients look their very best and that honour now goes to spices. Chillies turn to powder in the blink of an eye, ginger is chopped with precision, and mounds of ground coriander fall in preparation for a Moroccan dish.

Marks & Spencer
"Dine In For Two"
10s
26 Aug 2015
A night in with an M&S meal deal never sounds like a bad idea, and the sight of this juicy steak, choice dessert and rich red wine combo only strengthens our convictions. If this is just for an average Saturday evening - and the £10 price tag suggests it is - just think what M&S can offer when we want to push the boat out, it implies.

Marks & Spencer
"Seaside"
20s
15 Jun 2015
This is starting to get embarrassing. M&S's food campaign is so unremittingly excellent that we're running out of superlatives with which to describe the ads that arrive in speedy succession on our screens and which - every time - look as fresh as a daisy. Or a just-caught crab. Or crisply coated fillet. Or perfectly topped ice cream cone. You get our drift.

Marks & Spencer
"Sizzle"
20s
4 Jun 2015
As you'd expect, these aren't just any old barbecue ideas - they're M&S barbecue ideas. Tiny, fat sausages sizzle on the griddle lit by a row of elegant black matches, while sauces and marinades lovingly envelop the foods to which they lend their flavour. Veggie kebabs aren't relegated to a back burner either, with three skewers in varying hues providing the perfect accompanying crunch.

Marks & Spencer
"Weekend Treats"
10s
21 May 2015
Gleaming prawns, salmon-en-croute with golden-baked pastry, luscious desserts, peachy wine glugging into a glass... we could all be forgiven if we chose to forsake other food retailers and shop exclusively at M&S. The new strand of advertising emphasises the hell out of the idea that anything you buy from there is an expensive treat that you don't mind paying for.

Marks & Spencer
"Tea-Time"
20s
18 May 2015
More British-style goodies hit our screens in this new spot which takes the fundamental theme of afternoon tea and elaborates on it with verve and imagination. Swirling leaves releasing their perfumy fragrances, sponges slathered in buttercream and jam, translucent slices of salmon and cucumber dressed up with dill and radish... what's not to love?

Marks & Spencer
"Britishness"
40s
10 May 2015
It's impossible to fault these ads. This one focuses on 'Britishness' - and features the produce that we grow and make so well. The lush greens of our rain-fed asparagus, the moist crumbliness of our cheeses, the lightness of our meringues... all these and more are beautifully captured in a way that allows us to see afresh what is so special about 'British' food.

Marks & Spencer
"Weekend Treats"
10s
30 Apr 2015
M&S continues to impress with its sumptuous offerings, even when they're in tiny ten-second bites. The colour, the texture, the focus, the movement... there's no room to hide at this range; and the confidence with which these spots are filmed shows again and again how much faith they want us to have in the brand's quality.

Marks & Spencer
"Easter Roasting Joints"
10s
27 Mar 2015
It may only be ten seconds long, but what a lot can be packed into such an ad if enough care, thought, and - yes - money - can be lavished on it. Rather than a perfunctory pack shot and a few price-led supers, this exquisite offering shows us ingredients that are both imaginatively filmed so we see them in a fresh light, and in mouth-watering detail - you can taste that roasted garlic as if it's melting in your mouth.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Berries"
10s
27 Mar 2015
Ten seconds isn't long to create an appetising film for hot cross buns but MichaŽl Roulier and Philippe Lhomme have delivered with aplomb. Starting with fruit and ending with the completed bun, this manages to give a sense of a lovingly made delight that looks better - in fairness - than any currant-infused seasonal treat you're liable to eat this week.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Chocolate"
30s
27 Mar 2015
Another faultless display of startling food photography for M&S. If this campaign has a weakness, it lies within its slavish devotion to the aesthetic - having said that, if any food lends itself to this treatment, it's chocolate. This is a sublime exhibition of skills which really persuades you that the posh store is by far the best option if you want to impress with your Easter Eggs this year.

Marks & Spencer
"Mothers Day"
20s
11 Mar 2015
Taking Mothers Day ads from the other supermarkets and comparing them with this is a good way to define what makes Marks & Spencer's commercials a cut above. There are no jovial VOs making gift-based puns and pushing the cheapness of the prices in your face - instead, this focuses on the beauty and quality of the flowers themselves. Yet irony of ironies, M&S's bunches start at the lowest price of all.

Marks & Spencer
"Valentines"
20s
10 Feb 2015
Oysters, steak, chocolates and hearts, pink fizz bubbling over the side of a Champagne flute, creamy sauces... Marks and Spencer sure knows how to add the perfect soupÁon of suggestiveness to their Valentine Meal deal ads. Even the spoons are spooning - so if even the cutlery can get it on, there's no reason you can't either.

Marks & Spencer
"Weekend Treats"
10s
23 Jan 2015
Simple but alluring as always: M&S Dine In deals never fail to look as stylish as they do tasty. This little ad evokes the thought of a delicious meal for two with the hatches battened down against the winter weather - an en croute main and a stick-to-the-ribs steamed pudding for dessert; all washed down with a bottle of wine. Cosy, classy bliss.

Marks & Spencer
"Chicken Keralan Curry"
20s
4 Jan 2015
Once again, the colour, movement and texture of the shots shown here set M&S apart from the crowd. You can almost smell the spices, and feel the peppercorns crack as you bite down to releasing tiny bomblets of heat and piquancy. The love with which it's filmed reaffirms your sense of the freshness of the food you're buying... no provenance murkiness here.

Marks & Spencer
"Healthy Chicken Orzo and Kale"
20s
4 Jan 2015
Another beautifully-filmed spot for M&S. The photography is superb: close-ups of the respective ingredients in the dish seem to echo their own structure at an almost molecular level. A decapitated garlic bulb becomes a cluster of cells; tumbling red peppers become droplets of their own sweet juices; the transformative effect of heat demonstrates the magical changes that can be - and are - wrought when food is this fresh.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Ice 2"
20s
7 Oct 2014
One of the series in the new campaign for M&S which meticulously demonstrates the freshness and quality of their food - this time, their frozen ranges. This execution starts with frosty-looking peaks of flour detonated by butter, and proceeds to heat and bubble its way through to a delicious, creamy chicken, bacon and mushroom pie. It delivers one hell of an olfactory hallucination.

Marks & Spencer
"Adventures in Ice"
20s
7 Oct 2014
One of the series in the new campaign for M&S which meticulously demonstrates the freshness and quality of their food - this time, their frozen ranges. Here, the ingredients that go into a succulent, richly flavoured duck dish are shown instantly freezing through time-lapse photography; reminiscent of a bas-relief frieze. Very classy indeed. Oh, and there's a third off the price too. Result.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.