sainsbury's christmas ad 2014

Sainsbury’s Christmas 2014 Ad is Moving, Poignant and this Year’s Best.

This Christmas marks 100 years since the World War 1 1914 Christmas truce. I remember learning about the Christmas truce when I was at school. And even then I was moved very much by the story and these WW1 soldiers’ determination to down their weapons and effectively risk their lives to wander out into No Man’s Land simply to share Christmas with their fellow humans. It’s a standout act, for me, in the face of one of the bloodiest, most violent times in human history.

Last night, Sainsbury’s claimed a prime ad spot – a 3 minute slot in the Coronation Street break – to debut its 2014 Christmas TV ad and it’s absolutely stunning. Based on letters, diaries and with a lot of help from World War 1 historians, Sainsbury’s has told that stunning story of the 1914 Christmas truces and has done so (in my opinion) in a way that is neither seen as exploitative or tacky. The ad was produced in partnership with the Royal British Legion and, as I understand it, the chocolate bar featured in the ad will be on sale in the supermarket with all profits going to the British Legion.

Here’s the ad:

The ad is incredibly tastefully done. And let’s bear in mind here that Sainsbury’s has in no way tried to capitalise on Remembrance Day, deliberately (it seems to me) holding off airing the ad until 12th November.

There have been some negative responses to the ad on Twitter with people claiming it’s a supermarket trying to cash in on the centenary of the start of the War. But I honestly just think it has been carried out so completely tastefully in partnership with a very respected organisation and that’s the best way it could have been done.

Advertising is about storytelling. Sainsbury’s message this year is that “Christmas is for Sharing,” and what better story to depict that with than this one?

It’s an add that had me in tears anyway and I would go as far as to call is the best Christmas ad I can remember seeing, not just this year, but any year.

Take a bow, Sainsbury’s.

The Making of the Sainsbury’s 2014 Christmas Ad

For anyone interested, this is worth a watch as well.