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Sainsbury’s and AMV reveal Christmas blockbuster – it’s also the UK’s ad of the year

Well here it is, the hugely-anticipated Sainsbury’s Christmas offering from AMV/BBDO.

And, as we reported yesterday it’s a Great War spin, partnering the Royal British Legion which raises money for ex-servicemen.

There aren’t any Great War (1914-18) veterans left, and precious few from the Second World War, but this film by Ringan Ledwidge, with lead creative Tim Riley, does justice to all of them.

Is it a great ad? I think it is because of its ambition.

It succeeds in plugging Sainsbury’s (in an admirably understated way) and the RBL connection surely helps. There’ll be millions of people buying RBL chocolate bars in Sainsbury’s between now and Christmas. So that’s clever marketing, particularly at a time when Sainsbury’s has just announced the pain it’s feeling from the hyper-competitive UK supermarket wars. Sainsbury’s probably didn’t realise things would get so hot when it commissioned the film, but never mind.

But it connects two brands with a really important part of people’s experience (no matter how old); sadness at the loss of life in these conflicts and admiration of the courage displayed by the poor saps who found themselves involved in it all. The two scared young soldiers who swap presents sum it up perfectly.

Poppies all round.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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