Wide of the Marks
Although currently off balance,
Libran Marks & Spencer's future may be on a more even keel
The astrology looks brighter than current appearances suggest
and if M&S gets a new CEO there is a good chance it will turn the
corner. Its biggest astrological influence in 2001 is when
relationship Venus progresses to its horizon in February, and
that could symbolise a take-over, merger or new partnership.
In this broader context, M&S' first major advertising
campaign, run by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/YR and launched on
September 8, may be neither here nor there. In choosing it to run
the campaign, M&S has a right instinct because this young,
colourful agency is a creative Leo (August 10 1993) with its sun
exactly on the M&S Part of Fortune. The brief came in on lucky
Jupiter, but with Uranus involved, we can hazard a guess that it
has also sown the seeds of a future split in the RKCK team.
The campaign aims to ditch the staid image and introduce a new
sizing initiative. Like Uranus, this breaks convention, but who
is the size 16 woman, running uphill, flinging off her clothes
and shouting 'I am normal?' She is Marks and Spencer itself, in
wild disarray and in an uphill struggle to get back to normal.
The astrology for the day of the first ad suggests which
images will work and which will bomb. The M&S Moon has moved into
Leo, crossing its Ascendant. A woman showing herself off fits a
theatrical Leo Moon, but the 'Exclusively for Everyone' strapline
doesn't quite capture the symbolism. Swanky Leo likes exclusivity
but never thinks it is normal, and it certainly doesn't want to
be an 'everyone'. The ambiguity reflects a dilemma at the heart
of M&S, and the result is wide of the mark for Marks.