Jennifer Saunders and Ewan McGregor sign up for Debenhams Christmas campaign

Debenhams Found It campaign

After harnessing the comedic talents of Dawn French, Sarah Millican and James Nesbit for its Christmas campaign last year, Debenhams is once again relying on some of the UK’s biggest names to help it stand out during the festive rush.

The campaign is an evolution of ‘Found It’, which has formed the backbone to its activity for the last two years. In 2014 it featured children exploring an empty Debenhams store before the retailer shifted tactics in 2015 to focus on the emotion of the recipient through the voices of French, Millican and Nesbit.

For 2016, the campaign has once again evolved “to showcase premium gifts with personality” and featured Jennifer Saunders, Ewan McGregor, Billie Piper and Bake Off's Mel Giedroyc.

"’Found It’ was developed as a 360 degree campaign to highlight our position as a gifting destination. It was always conceived as a campaign that had longevity; celebrating the joy of finding the perfect present for a loved one,” said Debenhams marketing director Richard Cristofoli.

“The campaign has evolved over the past three years and started to become a part of consumer consciousness.”

It is the first campaign launched by Cristofoli under his wider marketing remit. A restructure earlier this year aimed to bring the retailer’s store and online management under one team. As such, Cristofoli assumed additional responsibility for digital design and creative, online photography, editorial content and print services.

That broader remit is evident in how this campaign will play out across channels.

From next week (14 November) it will run across TV, radio, outdoor, digital and print. The first 20” airing of the campaign is set to take place during a prime ITV break, while radio ads are set to run across stations including Heart, Smooth and Capital.

In addition, 40 and 16 page ‘You’ve got the invite, we’ve got the outfit’ fashion brochures have been inserted into Sunday Times Style, Grazia and Stylist.

The retailer has also dialled up its investment into in-store marketing.

For 2016 , the brand’s flagship Oxford Street store will be transformed into the ‘Found It Gift Factory’. The building will feature a window display that extends throughout the exterior façade and roof complete with pipes, cogs, wheels and funnels, which give the appearance of a factory setting. It also includes a ‘Sequinator’ and a conveyor belt shrinking enormous fragrance bottles down to real-size.

“We are delighted to be evolving the ‘Found It’ for 2016 and believe the new roster of famous voices and humorous scripts and the joined up campaign across all channels will help ensure we deliver cut-through and resonance during a cluttered time of year,” continued Cristofoli.

Retained agency J. Walter Thompson London devised the campaign.

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