Fashion Label Using Real Life Role Models For New Advertising Campaign!

Britains Leading Ladies

The UK fashion industry is on a mother freaking roll right now when it comes to using a diverse range of faces for its campaigns! We love how just recently, TK Maxx used an 85 year old supermodel (the oldest working model in the world) to front their new campaign.

Now it’s Marks and Spencer’s turn to realize how important it is to inspire, rather than just sell. M&S have just launched their ridiculously awesome Autumn/Winter Campaign for 2013 and it certainly is like no other. Shot by famed photographer Annie Liebovitz, the campaign is called ‘Britain’s Leading Ladies’ and goes beyond merely just the clothes being touted.

It’s all about inspiring and engaging their consumers about women in the world by showing them examples. The campaign includes a variety of women such as actress Dame Helen Mirren, acid attack survivor turned TV presenter and mentor to other victims Katie Piper, British Nurse of the year Helen Allen, the first female boxer to win a Gold Medal at the olympics Nicola Adams, CEO of Save The Children organization Jasmine Whitbread, and more.

There are a couple of notable fashion names, including flame-haired Grace Coddington who is the creative director for US Vogue and Anna Wintour’s right hand woman. But the range of different backgrounds and achievements reflect more of the average British woman than a normal campaign with just any other model would.

Fun fact: if any of the Dove “real beauty” campaigns come to mind when reading this, it should be noted that Annie Leibovitz also shot those! Good to see a photography pioneer and legend supporting women through her creativity and talent.

Annie Leibovitz

“Twelve seemingly very different women from diverse backgrounds and professions represent the very best of British, the perfect ambassadors to present our new M&S autumn/winter collections. These women all possess intelligence, the confidence to succeed and innate personal style.” begins the statement on the Marks & Spencer website.

“From the physical strength and dedication of athletes and dancers, the honed skills of entertainers, the imagination of creative visionaries and the tireless campaigners, these women are pioneers in their fields.”

M&S marketing director Steven Sharp adds that the campaign is designed to “celebrate women”.

Apparently M&S sales have been gradually declining the past couple of years so they have had to try a different approach to getting sales. We know that any advertising campaign that promotes positive body image, healthy lifestyles, real women and aspirational role models is a great start to engaging more consumers.

It starts to feel as if the company cares about the customers who wear the clothes and goes beyond the monetary transaction. Thanks to the introduction of social media, instant digital interaction and even reality TV, audiences want to see more authenticity and brands can no longer hide behind smoke and mirrors. Consumers are both loyal and fickle, and if you give them something worth coming back for, then you have an engaged audience.

Well done Marks and Spencer for trying something new, something that will elevate women’s perceptions of themselves and empower them to do great at whatever their path is in life. We are so sick of seeing brands creating campaigns that are set on making us feel depressed and anxious about the way we look. Beauty is so much more than just physical appearance, as is clear with these “leading ladies”. Everything they stand for and everything they do (apart from Karen Elson’s obvious job as a model) is about so much more than what they look like.

If you could see more real women and leading ladies in fashion campaigns to inspire you, who would it be? Watch the video interview with the ladies from the Marks & Spencer campaign, below.





  1. Pingback: Clothing Company Casts Women With PhD's Instead Of Models For New Campaign

  2. Pingback: Rita Ora, Emma Thompson & Annie Lennox In New M&S 'Leading Ladies' Campaign

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.