Marks and Spencer has launched its Christmas advert for 2017 featuring Paddington bear, in a commercial campaign that will take some beating.

The company has enlisted the help of lovable storybook character Paddington to give their Christmas campaign a real family feel, and if initial reactions are anything to go by, it’s going down very well indeed.

The animated ad sees Paddington lying in bed on Christmas Eve when he hears a thump from outside his window. When he checks outside, he sees a man he presumes to be Santa Claus and insists on helping with his deliveries, including one for his beloved adoptee, Alice.

Paddington’s warm-hearted nature means that he sees the good in everyone, a festive message if ever there was one. On this occasion, Paddington fails to realise that the man who he is helping to deliver presents is not in fact Santa, but a burglar.

It’s a fantastic television commercial which once again raises the bar for retailers competing for attention during the November and December countdown to Christmas. Featuring a great Christmas message, and including all of those little touches that scream Christmas – roaring fires, Santa’s sleigh and mince pies.

While Paddington’s inclusion in the M&S campaign unmistakably coincides with the imminent release of Paddington 2 in cinemas, this festive tail will also benefit the NSPCC children’s charity. The book of the ad, Paddington & The Christmas Visitor, has been made available to buy in M&S with all profits being donated to the NSPCC to help fund its Christmas childline service.

A comprehensive range of Paddington memorabilia has been launched alongside the campaign, while the advert will be shown before every UK screening of Paddington 2 in cinemas.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director of Customer, Marketing & M& said: “At M&S our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we know they love the magic of Christmas, most of all spending time with family and friends.

“Paddington has enchanted children and families all over the world for nearly 60 years which is why we couldn’t turn down the chance to bring the wonderfully endearing, much-loved British character and his world into the heart of our Christmas campaign this year. We always want to surprise and delight our customers; the timing is perfect as we’re partnering together just ahead of the release of Paddington 2.”

To view the range of Paddington merchandise in M&S, click here.