The Jaded Jedi

Journal and General Musings

Shang-a-lang a Holly-Nolly ding dong!


Anyone who has been reading or following this blog for any length of time may be familiar with my less than overwhelming enthusiasm for the festive season. (See Saturnalia)

However, once in a while something comes along which whilst not entirely changing your point of view, could be described as a refreshing change! One such thing is this year’s Christmas advert from Sainsbury supermarkets in the UK.

The  choice of a World War I themed advert may not have been entirely surprising given the emphasis on the centenary of the start of the Great War throughout 2014. However, having said that it eluded the competing retailers and advertising agencies leaving the field clear for this four minute gem.

The only branding in this piece is the name flash at the end of the video. Even that is shared with the recognition for the Royal British Legion. Furthermore, there isn’t a single piece of product placement – not even the featured chocolate bar.

The attention to historical detail is impressive and although there is an undoubted sentimentality it isn’t aimed at supermarket products (at least not directly).  Some have already indicated they find the advert distasteful apparently hijacking the historic events to boost Christmas sales. I for one don’t share that view.

Congratulations Sainsbury for taking the time to give this real production values, historical integrity and resisting the temptation to scatter it with subtly placed stock. Having seen the seasonal offerings from competing retailers, the risk was well worth taking ! A real Christmas present.

4 thoughts on “Shang-a-lang a Holly-Nolly ding dong!

  1. richmalpass says:

    This advert should actually make you dislike Christmas more. The Sainsbury’s advert, whilst brilliantly shot, is a truly cynical piece of marketing and here’s why:


    1. Jaded Jedi says:

      Well I guess you can’t please all the people all the time. At least we can agree on the technical work and cinematography as being excellent.
      It does strike me it will be a Marmite ad, but I have to say I’m still a fan. After all, ultimately all advertising is cynical manipulation to a degree isn’t it?
      Maybe we can at least agree it was brave and potentially unique in not having product placement, fairy lights and ‘walking in the air’ playing at any point.


  2. Content Catnip says:

    Yes I think they really managed to execute this well, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I was one of the sad and pathetic creatures who liked the John Lewis ad though. I know – vomit. I even wrote a post about how much I loved it LOL


    1. Jaded Jedi says:

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking the John Lewis advert – if it appeals then it works (and I agree they are usually very good). It was just that this year, at least for me, underselling and commemoration hit the public consciousness at exactly the right time.

      Liked by 1 person

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