Waitrose Christmas Campaign: Ashley Jensen and Heston Blumenthal see the funny side of festive food

16 November 2021

Waitrose today launches its Christmas campaign, ‘You Can Taste When It’s a Waitrose Christmas’, which puts delicious, quality Christmas food at the very centre of celebrations for this year’s festive season. Our 60 second advert, featuring Extras star Ashley Jensen, showcases why “the best bit of Christmas is the food”, no matter the time, place or occasion.

Our fun-filled advert, which has been created by adam&eveDDB, and shot by acclaimed comedy director Jeff Low, features a number of relatable Christmas scenes that Ashley Jensen trumps each time with Christmas food, from carolling to opening presents, hosting a Christmas party to enjoying a family Christmas feast. The scenes are infused with mischievous humour, with one featuring Jensen passing off Heston Blumenthal’s mince pies as her own before attempting to serve them to him, and provide a glimpse of some of this year’s festive favourites, including our Truffle Smoked Salmon, No.1 Truffle Prosciutto Crudo, Bronze Feathered Free Range Turkey, Heston Night Before Christmas Mince Pies, No.1 Fig, Honey & Walnut Christmas Pudding, Pork Apple & Calvados Stuffing, Gianduia Torta Da Festa and the festive classic, sprouts - but loaded with pancetta!

Martin George, our Customer Director, comments: “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.”

Heston Blumenthal comments: “My scrumptious Night Before Christmas Mince Pies and The Giant Cracking Penny make it even easier to be the ultimate host over the busy festive season, along with the other ready made goodies that you can pick up in Waitrose shops or online! Our Christmas treats mean that you’ll still be able to wow your guests while also being able to focus on spending quality time together." 

Ashley Jensen adds: “My favourite part of Christmas has always been the food, and all the wonderful occasions that come wrapped up in the festive season. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Waitrose on this year’s Christmas advert and I will definitely be making sure I have that truffle-infused prosciutto on my shopping list!”

From 7am on Tuesday 16 November, our Partners will be the first to see the advert before it launches on waitrose.com at 7:30am and on our social channels at 8am. 

The ad will first air on television on Tuesday 16th November during Emmerdale on ITV and The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4. It will also run on video on demand platforms. 

As part of our campaign, we’ll also be launching a number of product adverts* from Tuesday 16th November which will feature the places and processes behind our festive highlights - the hazelnut forests of Northern Italy to Heston’s test kitchen:

  • Free Range  Bronze Feathered Turkey (launch Tuesday 16 November)
  • Gianduia Torta Da Festa (launch Tuesday 16 November)
  • Gruyère Fondue (launch Monday 29 November)
  • No.1 Truffle Prosciutto Crudo (launch 29 November)
  • Heston from Waitrose The Giant Cracking Penny (launch Monday 13 December)


Our Christmas advert, featuring Ashley Jensen and Heston Blumenthal, is part of our wider Christmas campaign which celebrates the joy and excitement of delicious Christmas food that our customers can enjoy with loved ones over the festive period. Customers will see our campaign come to life in our shops, on waitrose.com and via our owned channels through store signage, product displays and promotions along with the creation of inspiring and entertaining content such as recipes, a turkey guide and inspiration for key seasonal cooking moments

*We will also be supporting these and some additional products in print (national press, weekend supplements and foodie monthly titles), national out of home sites and digital display. In addition, you will see the No.1 Blood Orange Panettone, Leckford Sparkling Wine, Truffle Smoked Salmon, Gruyère Fondue and Amaretti Tiffin featured in idents across our ITV and Channel 4 sponsorships (w/c 15th November).

Brand advert scene synopsis:

  • The opening scene features Ashley opening gifts with her family on Christmas morning where she is gifted with a handmade plate from her niece. Upon admiring the gift, it is shortly upstaged by a delicious salmon blini from her mother which Ashley proclaims “is the best part of Christmas.”
  • Scene two depicts a group of carollers, which also includes Ashley, singing in a doorway and she describes the occasion as ‘pure joy’.  She shortly produces a mouthwatering plate of truffle-infused prosciutto crudo and excitedly exclaims “but this is infused with truffle.” 
  • Scene three showcases Ashley enjoying a Christmas film with the family, in matching Christmas pyjamas, where Ashley’s attention is captured by a Waitrose TV advert featuring our Bronze Feathered Free Range Turkey.
  • Scene four shows Ashley hosting a Christmas party at home where she is in the process of  transferring Heston from Waitrose Night Before Christmas Mince Pies from the Waitrose packaging onto a plate. She says “Everyone loves a Christmas party. But passing Heston’s mince pies off as your own? Thrilling.” As she walks out into the festive party, she exclaims “just whipped these up!” and makes eye contact with Heston himself who proudly eyes his mince pies. The actor stares him down and says, “myself” to which Heston doesn’t dare say a word. 
  • Scene five shows Ashley enjoying a number of Christmas feasts with different families and friends, in one she showcases a No.1 Fig, Honey and Walnut Christmas pudding shared and another scene shows Ashley displaying brussel sprouts served with copious amounts of pancetta.  The last of the feasting scenes sees Ashley admitting that she polished off all of the stuffing during the family Christmas meal.  
  • The final scene shows Ashley serving up a slice of Waitrose’s Gianduia Torta Da Festa on the gifted plate with the closing line, “Because the best bit of Christmas is the food”. 
  • The end line is ‘You Can Taste When It’s a Waitrose Christmas’

Waitrose products featured in the Christmas advert, in order of appearance include: 

  • Truffle Smoked Salmon 
  • No.1 Truffle Prosciutto Crudo 
  • Bronze Feathered Free Range Turkey
  • Heston Night Before Christmas Mince Pies
  • No.1 Fig, Honey and Walnut Christmas Pudding 
  • Brussel Sprouts and pancetta
  • Stuffing
  • Gianduia Torta Da Festa

Throughout December, Jensen will go on to comment on some of the biggest Christmas TV moments, including First Dates at Christmas, Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, and the John Lewis advert – telling us that these are all great, but the best bit of Christmas is really the food.

Team behind the advert 

  • 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 

About the John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. Profits made are reinvested into the business - for customers and Partners. John Lewis operates 34 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as johnlewis.com. Waitrose has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers.


Waitrose & Partners

Sophie Somers
Senior Communications Officer, Brand & Lifestyle 
Tel: 07984425638
Email: sophie.somers@waitrose.co.uk
Jessica Simms
Communications Officer, Brand & Lifestyle
Tel: 07704544030
Email: jessica.simms@waitrose.co.uk