A tale of two Christmas ads: AMV BBDO’s farewell to Sainsbury’s and Lidl

It’s become a seasonal pattern now: the three (would-be) biggies at Christmas in the UK are John Lewis, Burberry and Sainsbury’s.

The first two hit the spot, what about Sainsbury’s?

Agency AMV BBDO has produced a series of epics in recent years, all on the theme of ‘Christmas is for sharing.’ This will be the last one though (for a while anyway) as Sainsbury’s has moved its creative account to Wieden+Kennedy. Apparently AMV started on this even before its Mogg extravaganza had aired last year (one way to keep the account for a bit longer if the client’s showing signs of friskiness).

It’s a three and a half minute, er, epic, making the point that time is the most precious gift at Christmas in these stressed-out times, with cut-down 60s to come.

Directed by Sam Fell for Passion Pictures with that man James Corden on singing duties, of all things. How much money does he make from ads?

Very good it is too but it doesn’t quite have the emotional resonance Mogg did or rivals JL and Burberry do this year. Maybe too much work went into it, if that doesn’t sound daft.

MAA creative scale: 8.

At what used to be other end of the grocery market we have Lidl. Lidl’s TV advertising is not the whole story, the German discounter’s marketing has used elements like print successfully too as it tries to entice the British middle classes, Sainsbury’s traditional target market. Agency TBWA has done a good job in keeping the Lidl message fresh.

With the middles firmly in mind Lidl has been running a campaign featuring ‘Lidl sceptics,’ people who can’t believe it can sell good stuff at those prices. Cleverly it’s sticking with the same campaign at Christmas, just giving it a seasonal twist buy showing some free range turkeys having the time of their lives. They end up on a plate, of course.

It’s not a Christmas cracker like the one mentioned above but it’s not supposed to be. It’s a good campaign though and the Christmas element anywway has saved Lidl quite a lot of money.

MAA creative scale: 7.

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