Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

‘Tis the season to sprinkle some fairy dust! This brand’s fairies made Christmas magical in the UK! [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

December 17, 2018

Christmas Day is near!

Many of us are starting to feel the Christmas rush―passenger-packed airports, last-minute purchasing frenzy, sales and bonuses, etc.

Even though this year Christmas will be very different for most of us, one thing remains the same―there’s nothing as magical as spending the holiday season with friends and family…

… and this brand took that magic to a whole new level with its holiday-themed campaign in 2014.

Any ideas on what this brand is?

Marks & Spencer (M&S)!

M&S is a British multinational retailer with headquarters in London and England, and has more than 1,000 stores worldwide.

It specializes in selling clothing, housewares, food, and beverage products.

You’ll be surprised by how amazing its chocolates and biscuits are!

As one of the leading luxury stores in the UK, M&S exudes an atmosphere of formality and elegance.

Its stores are usually prim and proper, and you’ll see people shopping for clothes and other products in a calm manner.

Then one campaign in 2014 moved away from this formal aura.

With that being said, are you ready for some glitter and fun?

In order to spread the “magic” of Christmas, M&S created…

The “Follow The Fairies” Campaign!

It all started with a mysterious Twitter account called @TheTwoFairies.

By mysterious, we mean no one really knew that the account was handled by M&S’ social media team.

The brand didn’t even disclose this information to all its staff―only those who were directly involved in the campaign were in on the secret.

This idea came from creative PR and social agency Unity.

The purpose of setting up a separate Twitter account?

For M&S to track down users who were wishing for certain things on their Twitter accounts and make those wishes come true.

Then, on November 3, 2014 (yes, M&S started their Christmas campaign early), a number of people from different parts of the UK received gifts at their doorsteps.

The gifts varied from cakes, teas, makeup products, and others, depending on what people wished for on Twitter.

Take a look at some of the gifts posted online!

The gifts didn’t just arrive at people’s doorsteps as is…

… they also came with riddles from The Two Fairies!

“A viral campaign from a secret company, sending free gifts but not down your chimney, can you guess who this company is? Their clothes sales are dropping but their marketing’s a hit.”

“If so far you have missed out upon our japes and merry mischief, get involved and join the joy, turn over a sparkling new leaf.”

“Believe in us, believe in fun and play this game of wonder, we will return to cast our spell in London over and under…”

What else did the fairies do?

They flew over the Tyne Bridge in England (the campaign team used two drones and shaped them to look like fairies)…

… they turned the Landewednack Community Primary School in Cornwall―where it rarely snows―into a winter wonderland…

… and they also spread joy in hospital wards!

Now, for the big reveal about The Two Fairies, M&S created the “Follow The Fairies” video ad to let consumers know that it was behind the campaign and the mysterious Twitter account.

American singer Julie London’s version of the song, “Fly Me To The Moon,” playing in the background, the video showed two girls clocking in for work at the Fairy Factory before flying across the UK to spread Christmas cheers.

The two fairies were named “Magic” and “Sparkle,” referencing to M&S’ initials.

You’d see them in the video granting people’s wishes with just a snap of their glitter-filled fingers!

On November 8, 2014, the ad was aired on TV in one episode of the music competition franchise, X Factor UK, and uploaded on YouTube after that.

Was M&S’ “Follow The Fairies” Campaign Effective?

According to communications agency Waggener Edstrom’s Brand Agility Index, which measures a campaign’s engagement, differentiation, originality, and relevance, M&S’ campaign garnered a high score of 42, compared to other brands with an average score of approximately 30.

The agency said that M&S is “showing other retail brands how to do an integrated campaign, with strong content creation, audience interaction, and quick responses.”

The creation of @TheTwoFairies’ Twitter account also proved successful for M&S, helping the brand boost its audience engagement rate.

Other results of the campaign:

  • #FollowTheFairies was mentioned over 24,000 times in total on Twitter
  • The @TheTwoFairies Twitter account had more than 42,000 followers after a month since its creation
  • M&S’ official Twitter account gained over 37,000 new followers one month after the launch of the campaign
  • The campaign garnered coverage from various media companies such as The Telegraph, The Independent, The Times, AdWeek, Culturepub, etc.

The results showed that M&S’ “Follow The Fairies” not only shared joy to people in the UK during Christmas, but also a positive and memorable experience with them.

Do you also want to achieve success by launching a campaign that’s also this fun and exciting?

Be inspired with M&S’ fairies and bring your own brand’s “fictional fairies” to life, especially this season!

Create your own touch of magic and make your own campaign by showing random acts of magical kindness within your business’ reach.

The reason for doing so is simple:

Just like what M&S believes in, “Christmas is better with magic and sparkle” (we’re not referring to the retailer brand this time)!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing is inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research

View All

You don’t have access to the Valens Research Premium Application.

To get access to our best content including the highly regarded Conviction Long List and Market Phase Cycle macro newsletter, please contact our Client Relations Team at 630-841-0683 or email client.relations@valens-research.com.

Please fill out the fields below so that our client relations team can contact you

Or contact our Client Relationship Team at 630-841-0683