What's the best way to get your brand noticed at a time of year when everyone's trying to out shout each other?
According to Waitrose, the answer is to keep schtum. No lavishly shot liquid nitrogen mince pies courtesy of Mr. Blumenthal. Just him and Delia stood in an empty warehouse telling us that our favourite poppy-seed peddlers are donating this year's fancy ad budget to charity. Sort of like forgetting to send any Christmas cards but telling people you've adopted a goat instead. Times a million.
Of course in reality they are still playing the game. And of course agencies all over the country will be saying 'we had that idea for our big client'. But fair play to BBH for selling it in and Waitrose for having the mixed nuts to go for it.
From a slightly cold-hearted point of view, it's hard to see how this won't be good for their brand.
Done right, these things can be very powerful. We saw it with Sky, their yearly investment in British Cycling and the all-conquering Team Sky is a very small percentage of most big brands' overall marketing budget. Not many investments have been more successful for both parties in recent memory. Do good things and good things happen for you.
It'll be interesting to see how Waitrose spend their one million. And more interesting to see how much we hear about it.