Ewan McGregor Narrates a Modern-Day Cinderella Story for the Debenhams Christmas Ad

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Nov 10, 2017

Editor's Pick

U.K. department store Debenhams adds its commercial to the holiday mix today with a modern-day Cinderella story narrated by Ewan McGregor.

It's the story of a young couple who meet fleetingly on a train on a snowy Christmas Eve (reminding us a little of Vodafone's holiday effort, with Martin Freeman). They don't have time to exchange numbers, but she accidentally leaves behind a sparkly shoe from her shopping bag. This being 2017, they try to find each other on social media, but it doesn't seem to work out, until "fate intervenes." It's only at the end that we see McGregor, who plays a kind of fairy godmother role in getting them finally together. But he ends by questioning whether there will be a happily ever after ending (perhaps rather poignant given the actor's recent marriage woes.)

JWT London created the spot, and Hanna Maria Heidrich at Believe Media directed on location in Budapest. Andy Smith, creative director at JWT, says in a statement: "This year, we wanted to tell an emotional and engaging modern day love story, together with the classic Christmas charm--and what better inspiration for a love story, than Cinderella? But, to make it work we needed it to be a modern retelling, where both male and female characters are leads."

In the ad, the characters are clad in Debenhams fashion items and the campaign's central emblem, the crystal studded stiletto "glass slipper," was specially created by designer Jenny Packham for Debenhams. It's available to buy as a a limited edition, each accompanied by a personalized signed card by the designer.

As part of the campaign, Debenhams has also teamed up with pantomime production company Cinderella in five U.K. cities to bring appearances from characters in the shows to stores. The Cinderella concept will also be apparent in flagship stores gifting shoppers "as the clock strikes twelve'" (midday) in the run up to Christmas with items such as glass slipper decorations and free coffee from staff.

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Nov 10, 2017
JWT London
Marketing Director:
Richard Cristofoli
Director of Marketing Operations:
Jane Exon
Director of Creative:
Mark Stevens
Head of Marketing Communications:
Sean McGinty
Senior Marketing Manager:
Christopher Byrne
Creative Agency:
J. Walter Thompson
Executive Creative Director:
Lucas Peon
Creative Director:
Andy Smith
Business Director:
Sally Emerton
Account Manager:
Kate Hicks
Agency Producer:
Charlotte Jude
Assistant Producer:
Edmund Thorn
Hanna Maria Heidrich
Director of Photography:
Christophe Collette
Production Company:
Believe Media
Ben Croker
Executive Producer UK:
James Covill
Production Manager:
Kate Wynborne
Production Designer:
Marketa Korinkova
The Quarry
Mark Whelan
Post Production Sound:
750 MPH
Sam Ashwell
Post Production:
The Mill
Post Producer:
Ian Berry
James Bamford
VFX Supervisor:
James Maclachlan
Music Producer:
Cliff Wilson
Chris White
Talent Negotiator:
Melsie Brown


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