Waitrose covers an English village with snow in arty, black-and-white Christmas ad

Waitrose puts the focus on community spirit in its Christmas ad about villagers snowed in at a pub, which is shot completely in black and white.

The film by Adam & Eve/DDB tells the story of villagers who gather for a drink on Christmas morning at a remote pub in the Yorkshire Dales. But when a snowstorm hits they must pull together for an unconventional holiday meal.

The setting, The Tan Hill Inn near Richmond, is the highest pub in Britain at 1,732 feet above sea level and dates back to the 17th century. It has actually been snowed in 50 times since 2005. 

Waitrose will debut the 90-second ad on Sunday (12 November) during ITV’s The X Factor and online. An additional series of 20-second product spots featuring the retailer’s Christmas food range will break on TV and video-on-demand on 16 November, with the line "At Christmas, there’s nothing quite like Waitrose." 

The campaign will include digital display, out-of-home, cinema and print ads. 

Waitrose will also create "community tables" in many of its cafes to invite customers to join others at shared tables. A nationwide competition launching online on 13 November will offer people a chance to win one of five feasts for their community group, catered by well-known names from the food industry.

The ad was created by Matt Gay and directed by Martin De Thurah through Academy. The soundtrack is Carol of the Bells by Mykola Leontovych, rearranged by musician and composer Guy Farley. 

Manning Gottlieb OMD handled media for the campaign. 

The black and white film is a creative progression since Adam & Eve/DDB made its first Christmas ad for Waitrose in 2015, which showed shots of food and people getting ready for the festivities. Last year’s ad took a more narrative approach, with a story about a robin that journeys home for Christmas.

Martin George, customer director at Waitrose, said: "Food plays an essential role in bringing people together. 

"As our ad depicts, eating together is a way to share not just food but friendship and community spirit."