Only 57 sleeps to Christmas! Lights are being switched on, Mariah Carey is on the radio, and the darker evenings are making everything seem just that bit more festive.

But Christmas doesn’t truly start until the adverts start dropping in. One of the first to hit our screens? Marks & Spencer, with the help of Harry Styles. M&S are not the only retailer to put their Christmas ad out early – Sainsbury’s, Asda, Aldi and Lidl have all released theirs. The most hotly anticipated of the year, however, is John Lewis, which dropped a week after the other retailers. This year’s John Lewis Christmas ad is titled The Beginner, and reflects the idea that “it’s the things we do that mean the most”.

But back to M&S – a young boy excitedly waits for his alarm to ring before bursting in to his parents’ room to give them a gift wrapped in a homemade box. Harry Styles’ song, ‘Treat People with Kindness’, plays in the background – Styles will be donating his fee for the ad to Centrepoint. The boy then runs downstairs, pulls open his curtains, and sees a choir singing in front of his window. This sets off a host of scenes of families enjoying Christmas before all joining together on their street for a festive street party. The ad highlights how M&S will provide a one-off donation of £1m to 1,000 different community groups across the UK this Christmas as they struggle to find funds during the cost-of-living crisis.

It has been directed by The Greatest Showman’s Michael Gracey, and stars real-life members of different community groups who join forces for a festive street party, with music, dancing and celebration.

There are a host of real-life community groups starring throughout, including Kaotic Angels, which is made-up of serving and former military personnel, police, firefighters, and ambulance workers with a penchant for motorbikes.

Kearsley Youth Brass Band from Bolton, which provides tuition, uniforms and instruments free of charge, and female-founded dance troupe Bengali Sanskriti Club from Peterborough, and comprises around 70 families belonging to the Indian Bengali community, also star.

M&S discovered the community groups through its partnership with community impact and giving platform Neighbourly.

The ad premiers on TV tonight, and you can watch it above – and in the meantime let’s get shopping at www.marksandspencer.com.


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