John Lewis Partnership

Redefining the meaning of ‘Made in the UK’ by tapping into and supporting young, diverse talent


As part of its mission to become a modern and inclusive business, the John Lewis Partnership wanted to tap into diverse and under-represented creative talent and give them an opportunity to do paid placements with the company.


Britain is becoming more and more diverse. As a quintessentially British brand, the John Lewis Partnership wants to be a brand that resonates with, and is representative of, its diverse audience; from the products it makes to the people it employs and partners with.


What does ‘British’ really mean nowadays? It’s a concept that has evolved a lot, which is why we decided to explore what ‘Made in the UK’ means today. What better way to explore this than to ask a group of young and diverse people? We tasked them with bringing to life what ‘Made in the UK’ means to them.
We held a series of creative workshops designed to give them hands on industry experience for their CVs and one insight came up consistently: that there is more that unites us than divides us.
Inspired by this, the young creators came up with the idea of ‘The People’s Potato’. The humble potato unites us all, we all eat it, but we cook it in a million different ways, making it the perfect vehicle for showcasing the diversity and multiculturalism of the UK today.
This idea was brought to life in a series of digital and print executions including social content, recipes and a magazine cover wrap showing piles of potatoes waiting to be scrubbed and prepared. While the potatoes look much the same, each has a different potato dish written on it – reflecting the creatives’ favourite potato-based recipes.


Four participants were chosen to join the John Lewis and Waitrose creative teams for paid placements. At the end of the placements, one of them got a permanent job in the creative industry.
Other young people were able to get involved in the creation of the whole campaign and add the experience to their CVs, which opened the door to more work experiences.
Importantly, the initiative sparked interest in the creative industry by young people who would have never considered it as a career.
As for the campaign, it sparked a lot of interest. It was featured as Ad of the week in the Drum, was selected as Hot Picks by Creative Brief and delivered 3.2 million organic reach.