The Best Work You May Never See: J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam Finds PLUS Recipe For Holiday Cheer, Family Tradition


Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018


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Christmas is all about keeping the time-honored family traditions alive. And many such traditions are rooted in the kitchen. So what does the festive season look like when a key family member has just passed away? And what about if it’s the one who also just happens to cook the Christmas meal--year in and year out?

This is explored with subtlety, delicacy and room for ambiguity in PLUS Supermarkets Xmas campaign conceived by J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam. Directed by Ismael ten Heuvel of Pink Rabbit, this centerpiece film shows a woman lovingly preparing a Christmas meal, under the careful watching eyes of her mother. To get it just right, the younger woman frequently checks an old and battered family recipe book.  But it becomes increasingly clear that Christmas this year is different than any other…  The woman’s mother has in fact recently passed away. But by way of her family recipes and traditions, she lives on--and is represented in a ghost-like form, guiding her daughter in the preparation of the holiday meal.

Bas Korsten, creative partner at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, shared, “All families have their tales and their traditions. And Christmas is an especially poignant time of the year to explore these stories. In this particular case, the hero of our narrative for PLUS Supermarkets is that old recipe book - connecting the generations and ensuring that the family recipes will never get lost or forgotten.”

The campaign is scored with a new version of Robbie Williams’ smash-hit “She’s the One” which was originally released almost 20 years ago this December. The track is sensitively performed by British recording artist, Frances, who was nominated for a BRIT in the Critic’s Choice category for 2016. The track was produced by Amp.Amsterdam.


Client PLUS Supermarkets Agency J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam Bas Korsten, creative partner; Chris Sant, Dieuwer Bulthuis; Charlene Thomas, sr. concept producer; Kiek Beljaars, screen producer. Production Pink Rabbit Ismael ten Heuvel, director; Martijn van Broekhuizen, DP; Mireille Lampe, Monique van Beckhoven, exec producers; Floor Schroeijers, producer. Editorial MRTN Martin Heijgelaar, editor. Online & VFX Captcha! Justin Baker, Daniel van der Kaaden. Online/VFX Barry Clarke, color grading. Music Amp.Amsterdam Music Frances - She’s The One (original song by Robbie Williams;  Bart van Liemt, Jarl Hector, music supervision. Sound Studio Alfred  Klaasen Jacco Lenstra, sound

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