M&S bringing sultry food voice-over ads back


Anna Friel

This isn't just any 'sultry' voice-over for a food advert: this is an M&S 'sultry' voice-over. The chain has announced a new direction for its food adverts - ditching ones emphasising quality and sustainability for a husky female voice over.

So are we back to so-called food porn, and who is the new voice?

'Food Porn'

Marks and Spencer gained a reputation a few years back for what became known as food-porn, matching a sultry female voice-over with lingering shots of food.

It was one of the steps it took to shake off its fuddy-duddy image of yesteryear - along with signing up a host of famous faces and bodies, and revealing them in endless lingerie adverts at Christmas.

However, its decision to axe the 'food porn' at the beginning of 2010, in favour of adverts emphasising 'Quality worth every penny' marked a realisation that while image is something, it takes more than image to sell high-end food in a difficult market.

Likewise, November's decision to ditch celebrity adverts for one showing more models of different sizes shows there has been a re-think on that front. It seems that we don't want to know what Twiggy would look like in a dress, we want to know what we would look like.

So is this another u-turn? Not entirely.

Marks and Spencer has announced that Anna Friel will be their new voice of food. The sultry voice is back, alongside close-up shots of the product. However, it's not quite food porn.

The campaign is known as 'Make Today Delicious', and the first one features a woman getting ready for a romantic date - and then stepping onto her own roof terrace for a BBQ.

Steve Sharp, M&S executive director of marketing, said that: "Spending time with friends and family is a priority for our customers, but with no major national celebrations this year they're placing even greater emphasis on personal, more everyday events. Food is being used as a way to bring people together and make those moments more memorable - be it a BBQ, a picnic or a Sunday roast. This campaign taps into this trend - showing exactly how great food can transform the mundane into something special."

The question is whether it will do the trick and have us flocking to the shop for marinated ribs. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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