Visa’s first Christmas TV advert in the UK features nine real shopkeepers, including Dunn’s Bakery owner Christopher Freeman.

The advert, which will air for the first time during tonight’s episode of Coronation Street (19:30 – 20:00 9 November on ITV), invites the nation to visit the British high street this Christmas, turning the spotlight on to its shopkeepers.

Dunn’s Bakery fifth generation baker Christopher Freeman features, alongside eight others including a butcher, greengrocer, bookseller and a florist.

The advert is made up of each shopkeeper signing along to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.

“I’m not much of a singer but the whole team got behind me and it was a great experience,” said Freeman. “We can’t thank Visa enough for choosing us to be part of the campaign, and it’s fantastic to see them giving back to independent retailers, and supporting the high street at Christmas.”

The campaign will also celebrate 100 independent retailers nationwide with personalised adverts on billboards in prime local locations and geo-targeted ads on social media.

Adrian Farina, Visa’s senior vice president of marketing for Europe said: “We know high streets up and down the country are a special place for communities to come together – especially at Christmas time.

“The festive season is critically important for shopkeepers nationwide, many of whom will have prepared months in advance. Through our Christmas campaign, we are celebrating the UK’s independent retailers by presenting a message from the high street directly to the nation. Working with the shopkeepers that feature in our campaign – we are encouraging the nation to visit the high street this Christmas and celebrate the independent retailers that make them special.” 

The message comes as new figures show the number of bakery chains on British high streets is stagnating, with a net increase of just two in the first half of 2018.

See the full Visa UK Christmas TV advert below: