Sainsbury’s taps celebrities to front #fooddancing social campaign

Sainsburys returns to celebrity-fronted ads as it takes new approach to marketing

Sainsbury’s has worked with creative agency Gravity Road to inject some celebrity status into its #fooddancing campaign, marking the supermarket's return to celebrity-fronted ads after a six-year hiatus.

The new films see a collection of athletes and TV stars dancing as they cook to the tune ‘Food Dancing (Yum Yum Yum)’ by UK artist MysDiggi, written for the campaign.

The films are fronted by Olympians Tom Daley and Ellie Simmons, Bake Off winner Selasi Gbormittah and Strictly winner Oti Mabuse, with surprise appearances from cricketer Kevin Pietersen and his wife Jess Taylor, and football manager Harry Redknapp and his daughter-in-law Louise Redknapp.

The black and white clips, produced for social, are synonymous with the style of its launch campaign and were shot in a deliberately low-fi hand-held style, to give an authentic perspective, as though they were captured by the celebrities themselves.

The films were shared on the celebrities’ social channels and distributed by Sainsbury’s as one long form edit, combining all of the videos.

The supermarket launched its #fooddancing campaign last month, the first ad under the direction of Weiden + Kennedy after AMV BBDO lost the account after a 40-year relationship. It's a drastically different approach from its previous marketing that was pitched as a return to creativity.

Sainsburys' 11-year relationship with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver ended in 2011. The partnership was speckled with a number of perceived disagreements over Oliver's ardent anti-junk food stance. The supermarket later secured David Beckham to star in its 2012 ad as part of its Paralympics sponsorship, but never signed another celebrity ambassador.

Similarly, Morrissons ended its two-year relationship with ambassadors Ant and Dec in 2015 when it reported its worst results in eight years.

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Jessica Goodfellow

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