Ashley Jensen and Heston Blumenthal front Waitrose Christmas ad

The ad puts quality Christmas food at the centre of its premise.

Ashley Jensen and Heston Blumenthal front Waitrose Christmas ad

Waitrose & Partners has put food at the centre of its Christmas marketing campaign.

Created by Adam & Eve/DDB, the ad features Extras and After Life star Ashley Jensen in the main role, as she flaunts why “the best bit of Christmas is the food”.

Jensen receives gifts, goes carolling, and watches Christmas films with her family, but they all fade into insignificance next to an array of Christmas treats, including truffle-smoked salmon, turkey and mince pies by Heston Blumenthal. At a Christmas party, Jensen tries to pass off the mince pies as her own, before accidentally offering them to Blumenthal himself.

The ad ends with the line: “You can taste when it’s a Waitrose Christmas.”

Shot by comedy director Jeff Low, whose credits include BrewDog, Fanta and BT, the ad will break during Emmerdale on ITV and The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4.

Media planning and buying was done by Manning Gottlieb OMD.

Jensen will continue to appear on screens throughout December, after First Dates at Christmas, Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, and the John Lewis ad. She will tell viewers that although all these programmes and ads are great, they don’t quite live up to Christmas food.

Martin George, customer director at Waitrose, said: “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.

"We felt the feasting and celebrations deserved the spotlight in this year’s campaign because after all, the best bit of Christmas is the food.”

This article first appeared in Campaign.

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