Waitrose’s Holiday Ad Is a Monochrome Fantasy About Getting Snowed in With Strangers

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Headshot of Angela Natividad

Nothing says Christmas quite like a slew of British ads. And on the heels of John Lewis, Waitrose gives us its entry: “Snowed In.”

Created by adam&eveDDB, the story follows three travelers struggling against snowfall as they make their way to a remote pub, packed with smiling strangers in Christmas sweaters (sorry, Diesel) congregated around a roaring fire.

“We’re snowed in!” someone soon, inevitably, declares. Panic mixes with faces anticipating tedium as the electricity cuts out. Luckily, there’s a pantry packed with Waitrose goodies, and even a cookbook to help transform a dire circumstance into one of shared joy.

There is cooking, collaboration and the celebration of togetherness. Just as the table is set, the lights return and a pair of men throw the door open. “Don’t worry! We got you out!” they cry, grinning gamely—only to meet the morose, befuddled expressions of people now torn between a return to normality and remaining in their charmed snowglobe.

The ad concludes, “At Christmas, there’s nothing quite like Waitrose.”

“Food plays an essential role in bringing people together,” says Martin George, customer director at Waitrose. “When we have the opportunity to eat with others, we can enjoy great food and feel closer to those we share the experience with. As our ad depicts, eating together is a way to share not just food but friendship and community spirit.”

“Snowed In” launched last night during The X Factor in the U.K. It is inspired by real-life events: At the Tan Hill Inn, near Richmond in the Yorkshire Dales, locals typically gather for drinks on Christmas morning. The location is often cut off by snow; snow-ins have happened 50 times since 2005.

Alongside the TV spot, Waitrose worked with Anne Fine, a Children’s Laureate author, to write an accompanying children’s book titled Let It SnowThe book recounts the tale of two animal families who become unlikely companions over a holiday meal. For every book sold, 50p (about 65 cents) will be donated to the Trussell Trust, an anti-poverty charity that operates over 400 food banks.

The campaign itself will be supported by outdoor, cinema and digital, with special content created for social. A nationwide competition will offer participants the chance to win one of five “foodie” feasts for groups, catered by famous chefs.

Waitrose will also create “community tables” at a few of its cafés so customers can sit together and share in the ad’s spirit—even if, hopefully, it won’t be because they’re stuck.


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@luckthelady angela.natividad@gmail.com Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.