This multi-channel campaign heralds the change of two leading high street names to Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners. But this was so much more than a rebranding exercise, this was a reaffirmation of the values that make these brands special – real people who
give their all as a team to delight their customers every day. In a world of algorithms, Brexit and societal polarisation, the power of the Partnership has never been more meaningful, differentiating or welcome to customers. We have worked closely with our clients John
Lewis (since 2008) and Waitrose (since 2015) on their recent rebrand which celebrates
a shared Partnership business model: where everyone that works at both companies aren’t just employees, they’re Partners with a share in the business. The brands coming together is about more than a campaign moment. We needed to find a common ground between them which
would differentiate the Partnership over the next decade, amid a changing retail landscape where discounting pricing and speed delivery was beginning to hold a higher currency with customers through the likes of Aldi and Amazon; and department stores like the House of Fraser were in decline. We also needed to find a way of the brands delivering on their own objectives whilst fostering visualand strategic consistency.
The re-naming of both stores to add ‘&Partners’ to the names of the brands could not have
been a more fundamental demonstration of that commitment to that structure and the belief in
the difference it makes to the experience for customers. With this in mind, the idea of ‘For
us, it’s personal’ was a shared rallying thought to celebrate the people behindthe model and the perfect filter through which both brands devised their communications
strategies. Moreover, finding a common ground in art direction and branding
was key to bringing this to life visually.
To gain reach and brand love, we created an analogy of the partnership in a 2min 30s
TV and cinema advert - that told the story of primary school children putting on a very special performance to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Using the strapline ‘When you’re part of it, you put your heart into it, it showed that when you are part of something, you go the extra mile and the results can be extraordinary. Central to the campaign was a manifesto – our renewed promise to customers - which appeared in print ads and was spoken by real Partners from John Lewis and Waitrose in films played in-store, on radio and online.
The wider integrated campaign shines a light on the stories and skills of more than 100
real Partners from across both businesses to illustrate what makes the Partnership a
unique business. The campaign worked into each brand’s product range, from fashion
to recipes, to show credibility and desire in each category for own-brand ranges using the shared art direction. There is also an ongoing strategy to develop expert Partners in their own social channels as credible influencers.
EPICA Award - Gold