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.