Waitrose bids for best Christmas ad with tear-jerking story of homecoming robin
Waitrose is making a bid for the festive season's biggest commercial tear-jerker with an epic tale of a robin's homecoming to a UK garden and a crumb of mince pie.
The 90-second ad reflects the real-life migration of a Scandinavian robin on a journey across mountains and seas to the UK where a young girl has prepared for his arrival by leaving a mince pie out on the bird table.
Featuring the UK's favourite bird, a series of near-fatal setbacks and accompanied by a sweeping soundtrack from Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson adapted from his Oscar-nominated score for the film The Theory of Everything, it appears to be aiming for the title of the year's most emotionally-wrought festive tv campaign.
The ad, entitled Coming Home, comes from adam&eveDDB, the same agency behind John Lewis's unusually upbeat Buster the Boxer campaign featuring wildlife animals and Buster the family dog having fun on a new trampoline.
The team behind the fully computer-generated bird said every element of the story had been fact-checked by experts to ensure it was "as close to reality as possible".
Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas said: "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."
Richard Brim, executive creative director at adam&eveDDB, said: "We're 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."
A book telling the story of the ad will arrive in branches and independent book shops from tomorrow, the ad will screen in cinemas ahead of Christmas and a game will give social media followers an interactive experience of the robin's journey home.
It airs for the first time tonight during ITV's The X Factor Results.