Waitrose launches ‘The People’s Potato’ by Create Not Hate initiative

The humble potato stars in a new campaign called ‘The People’s Potato’ breaking this week for Waitrose.

The innovative creative explores how the meaning of ‘British’ has evolved, and is the first work to go live created by young people through Create Not Hate’s innovative new programme with the John Lewis Partnership.

Inspired by the insight that there’s more that unites than divides us, the young creatives’ campaign – ‘The People’s Potato’ – highlights the fact that the ubiquitous staple of British cuisine (that actually originated in South America) is a fundamental ingredient in cuisines worldwide.

‘The People’s Potato’ 

This idea is brought to life in a series of print and digital executions showing piles of potatoes waiting to be scrubbed and prepared. 

While the potatoes look much the same, each has a different potato dish – reflecting potato-based recipes from around the world that are some of the creatives’ favourites.

By using the potato to embody the ‘more that unites us than divides us’ idea, the young creatives’ aim is that the campaign reflects the diversity and multiculturalism of the country today.

‘The People’s Potato’ campaign will comprise a cover wrap on the 18 August edition of Waitrose Weekend, within the magazine, and on social media.

Four of the potato dishes featured – Classic New Potato Salad, Cheese and Bacon Hasselback Potato Bake, Curried Chicken and Potato Patties, and Pulled Pork Loaded Potato Skin Nachos – will be expanded into full recipes and shared for free on Waitrose website and social channels.

There will also be films on TikTok talking about Create Not Hate, made by and featuring the initiative’s participants.

The new campaign was created by young people through the Create Not Hate initiative founded by Trevor Robinson OBE, Founder and Executive Creative Director of Quiet Storm, to help young people who are underrepresented in the creative industry unlock their potential, increasing diversity in advertising, and to address social issues they live with daily.

Community outreach

Creative development began with 80 young people found through community outreach done by Create Not Hate and from within the John Lewis Partnership participating in initial workshops to come up with creative ideas for John Lewis and Waitrose’s Create Not Hate brief, ‘Made in the UK’.

Participants then broke into smaller groups and worked with mentors to develop their ideas further. 

Two ideas were then chosen to produce: ‘The People’s Potato’ for Waitrose, and another idea for John Lewis – due to launch later this year.

Each selected idea was produced by four young people with the John Lewis Partnership creative teams, including some now on paid work placements at the John Lewis Partnership – also through the Create Not Hate initiative.

Megan Dubey, CNH participant, said: “I feel very proud of what we’ve achieved – being there at the very start, and seeing the idea blossom, and experiencing all the different aspects of bringing the campaign to life. 

“I’m excited to be able to tell everyone: ‘That was me!’”

Ellie Callaghan, CNH participant, said: “Being involved has meant the world to me – it’s given me an opportunity I’ve been desperate for. 

“I’ve had so many doors slammed in my face due to graduating in the pandemic, and my lack of experience – but now I have that experience, and a sense of reinforced confidence.”

James Turner, Creative Lead at Waitrose, said: “This campaign not only celebrates what unites us as a nation, it demonstrates the power of shared experience and how it can bring communities and different cultures together. 

“Potatoes are consumed all around the world and in this Creative, they act as a symbol to show how little everyday things can create meaningful connections.

“The young minds that have conceived this campaign have tapped into something really interesting and inspiring and we’re immensely proud to be partners of Create Not Hate. 

“Our hope is that the programme will generate fresh thinking across the industry as well as support more young people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, ensuring those that have been historically underrepresented in the creative industry are given real opportunities and mentorship to harness their talents to their full potential.”

Trevor Robinson OBE, founder of Create Not Hate, said: “The opportunity for the young people involved to work on such an iconic British brand to tackle an important brief today is tremendous. 

“I look forward to other brand owners seeing this and coming on board, and reaping the many benefits associated – benefits for the young people participating, and benefits to their own brands and businesses.”