Ashley Jensen and Waitrose Remind You the Holidays Are All About the Food

With a cameo by Heston Blumenthal

Forget about gifting, carols and festive movie marathons. The best part of Christmas is stuffing your face full of stuffing. And turkey. And mince pies. And every other delicious dish on the table!

That's Waitrose's lighthearted take on the holidays, at any rate, and it's an appropriate stance for a supermarket chain, delivered by adam&eveDDB, director Jeff Low, Scottish actress Ashley Jensen (Extras, Ugly Betty, Afterlife) and celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal in a :60 breaking today across the U.K.

Christmas 2021 Ad | Best Bit of Christmas | Waitrose

"Food plays such a wonderful role in creating those special moments, and we know how incredibly important this Christmas is to so many people, after we were unable to have all of our family and friends around us last year," says Waitrose customer director Martin George. "We felt feasting and celebrations deserved the spotlight in this year's campaign."

Themed "The Best Bit of Christmas is the Food," the work takes a breezy, almost pre-pandemic approach. Other yuletide commercials from England, where high-profile Xmas ads are a time-honored tradition, took decidedly different tacks.

Waitrose sibling John Lewis, for example, spun a fantastical tale of an alien's visit to Earth. Aldi tweaked A Christmas Carol, casting an animated banana in the Scrooge role. Marks & Spencer pigged-out (though not on food), while Tesco turned up the volume on Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now."

The latter stirred controversy for showing Santa Claus with a Covid-19 vaccination passport, while John Lewis denied accusations that it copied a cover version of "Together in Electric Dreams."

Will anyone grouse about Waitrose's commercial? The folks who didn't get their fill because Jensen licked the plate clean, that's who!

"My favorite part of Christmas has always been the food, and all the wonderful occasions that come wrapped up in the festive season," she says in campaign materials. "I will definitely be making sure I have that truffle-infused prosciutto on my shopping list!"

CREDITS

Creative Agency: adam&eveDDB
Media Planning & Buying Agency: MG OMD
Production company: Biscuit Filmworks UK
Production Managing Director: Rupert Reynolds-Maclean
Producer: Kwook Yau
Director: Jeff Low
D.O.P: Patrick Meller
Production Designer: Kem White
Wardrobe Designer: Michelle May
Hair & Make-up Designer: Emily Newson
Hero Casting: Talent Republic
Editor: Saam Hodivala @ Shift Post
Post Production: Time Based Arts
Audio Post Production: Jon Clarke @ Factory Studios
Music Supervisor: Theodore Music

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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