Plus Supermarket : The Universal Language of Food by J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam

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In a world shackled by borders, boundaries and limits, the topic of diaspora often gives rise to contention. As such, when handling the sensitive topic area of refugee migration, brands must be tactful with how they approach it.

J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam's new campaign for Plus Supermarket tackles the refugee crisis in a heartwarming and original way, delicately dissolving boundaries with help from the universal language of food.

The film follows a young refugee child called Ismail as he navigates a new culture that is alien to him. It's hard to dodge that feeling of anxiety that unsettles you when you enter an unexplored environment; even more so when it's your first day of school, in a foreign country. Lucky for Ismail, he befriends Lucas, a local boy, and although they don't speak the same tongue, together they find common ground to communicate: food.

There is an intrinsic link between food and culture, and while landscapes may become gentrified or war-torn, food remains inherently the same. And, by the fact that food is so heavily embedded into the culture of a country, it's easy to overlook how weird and wonderful the culinary blueprint may seem to an outside point of view.

The inherent connection between food and culture was something that Bas Korsten, creative partner at JWT Amsterdam wished to explore in the campaign, as “food has the power to bring people together. Even when they can’t speak the same language. This was what we wanted to portray in a genuine and thoughtful way with our new film for Plus Supermarket.”

Throughout the film, the boys embark on a culinary journey of true Dutch delicacies, and as they gobble pickled herrings like seagulls and devour toasted cheese and ham sandwiches, the film succeeds in capturing the essential importance of sharing and trying new things, no matter the culture or background.

Throughout the film, the boys embark on a culinary journey of true Dutch delicacies, and as they gobble pickled herrings like seagulls and devour toasted cheese and ham sandwiches, JWT Amsterdam manages to capture the essential importance of sharing and trying new things, no matter the culture or background.

Credits

Agency: J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam

Creative Partner: Bas Korsten

Creative Lead: Chris Sant, Dieuwer Bulthuis

Business Lead: Budi Gonzalez de Chaves

Strategy Lead: Daan de Raaf

Concept Producer: Charlene Thomas

Screen Producer: Marloes van den Berg, Kirsten van den Berg

Client: PLUS Supermarkets

Manager Marketing & Communicatie: Bas Snetselaar

Communication Manager: Esmee Blom, Cecile van den Heuvel

Production Company: Pink Rabbit

Director: Ismael ten Heuvel

Producer: Monique van Beckhoven

Music: Amp.Amsterdam - featuring Andrew Simple

Creative Director: Diederik van Middelkoop

Producer: Bart van Liemt

Sound: Studio Alfred Klaassen

Producer: Jacco Lenstra & Hans van de Loo

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