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Sainsbury's forgoes price-led message to tell poignant war-time story in Christmas ad

Sainsbury’s Christmas offering this year has moved away from a price and product-led message to tell the story of ‘The Christmas Truce’.

On Christmas Day 1914 – the first year of World War One – British and German soldiers called a truce and came together on neutral territory to mark the day.

“This year, we wanted to reflect that theme of sharing in our Christmas campaign through the lens of one of the most extraordinary moments of sharing in modern history,” said Mark Given, head of brand communications, Sainsbury’s.

The full three and a half minute spot – directed by Ringan Ledwidge – is a creative interpretation of this day.

It shows a young British soldier leading the truce to bring the two camps together to exchange stories and play football. The British soldier connects with a young German soldier who, upon returning to his camp, finds he has been gifted a chocolate bar.

It ends on the tagline ‘Christmas is for sharing’.

Sainsbury’s campaign has been supported by long-time charity partner The Royal British Legion who worked with creative agency Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO to make portrayal of the truce as accurate as possible.

The chocolate bar featured within the advert will also be available for Sainsbury’s customers to buy for £1 in the run up to Christmas, with all profits donated to The Royal British Legion.

Charles Byrne, director of fundraising for The Royal British Legion, said that it's particularly poignant with this year marking 100 years since WW1 began.

“The campaign remembers the fallen, while helping to raise vital funds to support the future of living,” he added.

The ad premiered during Coronation Street last night (12 November) and will be shown again during Emmerdale tonight (13 November) and X-Factor (15 November).

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