In its long stay at AMV BBDO Sainsbury’s used to go toe to toe with John Lewis at Chrstmas, most notably its Great War drama in 2014, celebrating the 1914 Christmas truce.
It’s pushed the boat out a bit this time round with a Dickensian ramble through Victorian London courtesy of Wieden+Kennedy, tying in with the 150th birthday celebrations of its first shop (or was that stall?) in London’s Drury Lane on the edge of Covent Garden, not part of the metropolis that welcomed tourists in those days.
So we have an unfortunate chimney sweep rescued by Mrs Sainsbury.
Lots of nice touches, including a zero emissions grocery cart, and plenty of feel good factor with capable direction from Ninian Doff.
But somehow it seems a bit, “we’re doing this because we’re obliged to.”
Sainsbury’s has a differentiation problem in Britain’s ferocious supermarket market and a shop in Drury Lane isn’t enough of an answer.
MAA creative scale: 6.5.