WHAT: "Coming home," Christmas 2016 ad from U.K. supermarket chain, Waitrose
WHO: Waitrose, adam&eveDDB
WHY WE CARE: Waitrose is the sister-brand of U.K. department store chain, John Lewis, and since mid-2015 has employed the same creative agency, adam&eveDDB, famed for its holiday spots for the retailer, including this year’s "Buster the Boxer". In previous years, Waitrose’s Christmas ads have generally focused on its luxury festive food offerings and a partnership with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal.
This year, in a marked change of approach, the supermarket has gone fully "John Lewis" with an epic, emotional narrative ad. "Coming Home" tracks the arduous journey of a tiny CGI robin, making its way to the U.K. for Christmas while a girl anxiously awaits its arrival. The 90-second ad, directed by Sam Brown, follows the migration route of a Scandinavian robin, and is, the store said in a statement, as "close to reality and factually correct as possible."
There are, however, several heart-tugging dramas thrown in. Also, like John Lewis, the holiday ad is accompanied by numerous themed products in-store. There will also be an interactive game and a children’s book by Michael Morpurgo, the author of stories including War Horse.
If the soundtrack seems familiar, its an adaptation by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, of "Cambridge, 1963" from his Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning score for The Theory of Everything.