Sunday, 13 November 2016


Robin - star of supermarket TV commercial

THIS year's acclaimed festive TV advertisement  from upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose is set to  boost interest in birds (especially robins)  and migration.

It depicts the winter migration of a Nordic-hatched robin as it battles against bitter weather and the menace of predators to reach a British garden to find food - in the form of a mince pie - and a mate.

En route, it falls, exhausted, on to a trawler where it is  restored to strength, then released to continue its journey.

A consultant to the makers of the 90-second film was leading UK naturalist Chris Baines.

Are windfarms among the threats to migrating robins?

The subject is probably a bit too sensitive for Waitrose who, in the film, plump instead for the disorienting effects of a different man-made obstacle - the lantern of a lighthouse.

There is talk of the film being adapted for a book or even a computer game.

It can be viewed intermittently on commercial TV in the run-up to Christmas and at :

No prizes for guessing the origin of the mince pie

Below is the content of the press release put out by the supermarket chain to promote the advert.

The epic journey of a robin is the focus of the new Waitrose Christmas TV campaign, which airs for the first time on Sunday November 13th during ITV’s The X Factor results.

The  advert reflects the real-life migration of a young Scandinavian robin on an eventful journey
across mountains and seas.

When he finally reaches his home in a UK garden, the robin is reunited with his feathered companion to enjoy a festive treat - a Waitrose  mince pie - left for him by a young girl who has eagerly awaited his annual return.

The theme is the spirit of connection at the festive season and the joy of welcoming guests, because - in the words of the endline - "At Christmas, there’s nothing quite like Waitrose."

The advert, which has been created by adam&eveDDB, follows the supermarket’s successful spring adverts, which centred around the provenance of good food using innovative filming techniques to bring viewers close to the sources of some of the items produced by Waitrose farmers and growers around the UK.

The epic journey is matched by the equally epic soundtrack by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, adapting his track Cambridge, 1963 from his Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning score for The Theory of Everything.

Rupert Thomas, Waitrose's marketing days: "‘Coming home is a central theme at Christmas when welcoming, hosting and providing a special meal for loved ones is at the heart of celebrations.

"Sharing the best possible food and drink with family and friends is one of the great joys of the festive period and we hope that the determination of our robin resonates with viewers as they follow his journey back to where he belongs.

"It’s a story of love, courage and the importance of enjoyment with family and friends."

Directed by Sam Brown through Rogue Films, with post-production at The Mill, every element of the story was fact-checked by bird experts, ensuring the story is as close to reality and factually correct as possible.

Richard Brim, Executive Creative Director, adam&eveDDB, says: ‘We are really proud of this plucky little fella and his plight to get home for Christmas.

"It’s a warming story that speaks to the spirit of togetherness in the festive season and the joy of just coming home. It feels like a great way to wrap up a great year for Waitrose."

A book telling the story of the advert will arrive in branches and independent book shops from Monday November 14.

The film will feature in cinemas (2D from 14 Nov and 3D in December) while a game, developed by Manning Gottlieb OMD, will give social media followers an interactive experience of the robin’s journey home.

The appearance of a robin features  throughout the rest of the Christmas marketing activity at Waitrose, both in store and online. There will be various robin-related products available in store to coincide with the launch of the advert, including kitchenware, clothing, toys and gift wrap.

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