Sainsbury’s kicks off festive campaign with 'Christmas in a Day' documentary directed by Kevin McDonald
Sainsbury’s has teamed up with Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin McDonald to create a feature-length documentary of people’s Christmas celebrations across the UK.
The ’Christmas in a Day’ 50-minute film, which took 14 months to make, documents the different experiences of a range of UK families to capture the diversity of celebrations across the country.
An extended preview of the film will air tonight on ITV during Coronation Street’s ad break, with a further two trailers following on 13 November and 21 December. The full-length film will premiere on YouTube on 29 November.
Speaking at a preview of the ad in London, Sainsbury’s head of brand communications Mark Given told how the campaign began as an experiment, and soon developed to become the “centre plank” for the supermarket’s entire Christmas campaign.
He said: “The film shows the huge diversity of people’s different Christmas experiences and we will show different versions right up until Christmas Eve."
The film sits at the heart of the supermarket’s Christmas campaign, which also includes more traditional food promotions alongside the film footage.
“We haven’t forgotten we have a food business, we will have a more conventional food campaign alongside it to promote our food,” said Given.
But he added that the theme of the campaign is to focus not just on the brand but on people.
“At times we shout a bit too much about our products. We want to now entertain people,” he said.
The film has been made in the same style as Kevin McDonald’s former Youtube hit Life in a Day in 2011, which has since had eight million views.
McDonald, who directed hit documentary Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, said: “When we made Life in a Day we asked people around the globe to record their lives on a single ordinary day.
"When we were cutting that film we talked about what it might be like if we chose a day that already had significance to people. The result is Christmas in a Day. Christmas is the one time in the whole year when ordinary British life is suspended. We have time to contemplate life and be with those we love."
Sainsbury’s worked with AMV and Ridley Scott Associates on the campaign.
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