London adland is agog to see Sainsbury’s and AMV’s Great War Christmas epic

Will Sainsbury’s produce the magic that’s been missing from the UK’s Christmas ads this year?

It’s allowed the others to fire their big guns first – and some have been good, Mother for Boots, TBWA for Harrods, CHI for Argos and the mighty engine that’s adam&eveDDB for John Lewis – but there’s been nothing from a major player (Boots isn’t so big at Christmas, it just has to do its bit) – to frighten the horses.

WORLD-WA_2994384bBut great things are expected from AMV/BBDO’s effort for Sainsbury’s. We know it ties in with the Royal British Legion (a long-time AMV client) and therefore the centenary of the so-called Great War (1914-18). It features the impromptu football games on Christmas Day 1914 between disobedient English and German troops. Someone told me today that ace director Ringan Ledwidge (Guardian ‘three Little Pigs’) had directed the film.

Now this is a high wire act. Adam&eve did it last year with the animated ‘Bear & Hare’ and Sainsbury’s was bold with its ‘Life In A Day’ film from Kevin Macdonald (this cinema verite effort ran for an hour in the full version).

But the Great War, Sainsbury’s (or any company) and Christmas is a tough job. At the moment large parts of the UK seem obsessed by the poppy tribute to Great War victims at the Tower of London (above). This stuff matters. There’s a mud-filled shell hole to fall into.

Let’s hope fortune favours the brave.

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