In 2010 Waitrose signed Heston Blumenthal and Delia Smith as their brand ambassadors, a bold pairing that demanded an even more ambitious way for these two incredibly well known personalities to connect with Waitrose customers and sell their products. MCBD’s Creative Directors Ken Hoggins and Jeremy Carr were tasked with the job and were keen to find a way for Delia and Heston to front a campaign using their love of food as a platform for new and established Waitrose products. They came up with recipes and mini cookery show commercials that could be carried through to print and in store - a multi platform campaign of a size Waitrose had never seen before.
Hoggins and Carr brought in renowned TV Director Graham Sherrington, to help structure and pitch how the Ads might work. The toughest challenge was undoubtedly giving the multiple steps of a recipe enough screen time, keeping the integrity of the steps and of course ensuring the scripts read naturally and succinctly so as not to feel forced. Having spent years working with broadcast food personalities, Sherrington tapped into what worked and helped devise the format. He pinned down the intricacies of the food prep and most critical parts of the recipe whilst all the time paying attention to the prominence of the branding, packaging and product. Every recipe had to look good enough for you to rush out and buy the ingredients to try it. It was a difficult balance but one that allowed an involved food process to be stylishly squeezed into a bite sized forty-second spot.
In March 2010, a three and a half minute TV commercial over an entire Ad break of Coronation Street launched the Waitrose Heston and Delia TV Campaign with plenty of press coverage in support. Delia’s simple recipe for Rhubarb Brulee and Heston’s tip about how to cook roast pork sparked a further forty commercials, all directed by Graham, and continuing to grow in their popularity. Individual product sales rose by 600% - in some cases and Heston’s Christmas Puddings were auctioned on Ebay as the demand was so great. Waitrose hit their targets and soared beyond £5 billion in sales for the first time in the grocer’s history. Waitrose quickly realised they were onto a good concept: a simple idea and great production generating creative success.