Waitrose launches brand ads without a store or product in sight

- Waitrose kicks off its first concerted branding campaign this week, with a series of ads which never actually show any of its stores, or their products.

- Waitrose kicks off its first concerted branding campaign this week, with a series of ads which never actually show any of its stores, or their products.

Instead the campaign, the first since Banks Hoggins O'Shea picked up the business last December, traces a variety of food items back to their roots. For example, "Fresh cod fillets, £2.99/lb", is represented by an artistically shot photograph of a trawler at sea, while "sunflower spread 59p" is depicted by a close up photograph of a rich yellow sunflower.

Each ad carries the price of a grocery or non-grocery item sold by Waitrose, in a bid to remind consumers that the chain aims to provide value-for-money.

The idea behind tracing the products' roots is to emphasise that the John Lewis subsidiary aims to sell the best quality, and is well placed keep standards high because of its policy of fostering long-term relationships with suppliers. This is in contrast to some larger competitors on the high street which have a reputation for moving business around based on price.

The £4.5 million campaign breaks this Saturday, and will appear in newspaper supplements, such as the Sunday Times Magazine and the Mail on Sunday Weekend section. This will be followed at the end of the month by a 48-sheet campaign in the south east, where most Waitrose stores are based.

Supporting press advertising will appear in women's and lifestyle magazines. Banks Hoggins is handling its own media planning and buying.

Art directed by Richard Dennison and written by Markham Smith, "sunflower" was photographed by Ron Rovtar and "fisherman" by Glen Garner.