Waitrose signing up Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal to front a new advertising campaign is a masterstroke. The pair will star in a series of mini cookery shows broadcast on primetime ITV, some of which will fill the entire ad break.
Either one alone would give the wrong impression: Delia is too conservative and Heston too wacky. But, like chilli-flavoured chocolate, salt in a cake mix or my personal favourite cream cheese and Marmite, their individual qualities work together to produce a surprisingly good combination. It makes Jamie at Sainsbury's look a bit vanilla in comparison.
Waitrose wants to shatter the image that it is only for posh people and food snobs, and to become known as the supermarket for cooks.
It also needs something exciting to keep up the momentum following the introduction of budget line-up Essential last year and the adoption of Duchy Originals as its top-tier product range. Latest Nielsen data shows Waitrose is continuing to power ahead, growing sales faster than any of the big four.
The new power couple of cookery can only build on that success.
The doyenne and the upstart: Waitrose’s very own odd couple (6 March 2010)
Waitrose signs up Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal (3 March 2010)