Emmet McGonagle
May 6, 2021

Toast trumps George Clooney in Warburtons campaign

Previous ads for the British baker starred Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro.

UK baked goods brand Warburtons has enlisted Academy Award-winning actor – and former Nespresso brand ambassador – George Clooney for a campaign showcasing the incomparable pleasure of a simple slice of toast.

Created by Engine, “It can wait” begins as Jonathan Warburton, chairman of Warburtons, eagerly awaits three o'clock so that he can make himself some toast.

His plans for a quiet lunch are cut short, however, when his assistant enters his office to announce that Oceans Eleven star Clooney is on the line.

It ends as Warburton hangs up on Clooney in favour of his beloved bread.

The ad will air on Saturday (8 May) on ITV1. It was created by Hugo Isaacs and Chris da Roza, and directed by Declan Lowney through Another Film Company. Media is handled by Mindshare.

Billy Faithfull, chief creative officer at Engine, said: “To use internet-speak, we are ALL Jonathan Warburton in 2021.

“Faced with the choice between another Zoom call or a little me-and-toast-time, only a true baker, born and bred, would choose toastie over Clooney.

“It’s the Warburtons family’s enduring obsession with quality that makes toast worth slamming a laptop shut on George Clooney for. If you wouldn’t, maybe you’re eating the wrong toast.” 

The fee paid to Clooney for taking part in the Warburtons campaign has been donated to the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which advocates for justice through accountability for human rights abuses around the world.  

“It’s not every day your call is turned down for a slice of toast, but needless to say I had a lot of fun filming this spot,” Clooney said. 

“It was great working with the Warburtons team and I’m thankful for the support they are providing to the Clooney Foundation for Justice.” 

Clooney is the latest in a series of Hollywood A-listers to star in a Warburtons ad, with previous spots featuring Sylvester StalloneThe MuppetsPeter Kay and Robert De Niro.

Warburtons added: “Video calls have become part of normal life for so many of us during the last year, but George Clooney popping up on screen was quite a surprise!  

“Quality is truly at the heart of our 145-year-old business, and this new ad is a real celebration of that passion, and we hope it will bring a smile to those watching.”

Clooney has a long history as an ambassador for another advertiser: Nespresso. He first appeared in a tongue-in-cheek TV ad for the coffee brand in 2016

Since then, his roles in Nespresso's advertising have included a spot featuring God himself (played by John Malkovich), fellow Oceans Eleven alum Matt DamonThe Artist star Jean Dujardin and Danny DeVito.

Campaign UK

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