By John Glenday | Reporter

November 14, 2020 | 3 min read

You may not be anywhere near the office water cooler right now, but we still want to spotlight the most talked about creative from the brands that should be on your radar. With Christmas approaching Sainsbury’s have unleashed the first in a series of festive ads designed to get tastebuds tingling.

Sainsbury’s has fired the starting gun on its Christmas campaign, inviting audiences into the homes of three families to establish what the holiday means to people on a personal level. Evoking a more carefree age symbolised by family, laughter and lashings of gravy, Sainsbury’s campaign aims to celebrating the true stars of Christmas dinner.

The first of these, ’Gravy Song’, recounts a daughter’s excitement for her dad’s gravy tempered by his penchant for singing. Combining home-video-style footage and phone conversations, the campaign seeks to honestly reflect modern life.

Conspicuous by its absence is any reference to the ongoing pandemic, although social distancing restrictions presented their own challenges off-screen. Emma Bisley, head of broadcast marketing at Sainsbury’s, explains: “All cast and key crew were tested two days prior to being on set, and then isolated before coming to set. There was a Covid-19 officer on-site at all times to ensure all rules were adhered to. All members of the cast and crew were temperature checked daily.“

Uncertainty around what lockdown restrictions might be present forced producers at Wieden + Kennedy to adopt a flexible creative approach which permitted changes until the final days before broadcast. Bisley says: “The one certainty was that we didn’t know what the situation would be on 14 November, but we were confident that Christmas, and connecting with loved ones about food would be more desired than ever. We were able to change script details down to the last few days.“

Darren Simpson, creative director at Wieden + Kennedy says: “In a year when everything is a little bit all over the place, we were happy to create a campaign that reminds people about the power of food to transport you to good times. Christmas and especially the food, are the memories we all hold on to. Like my nanna’s roast potatoes – they were the stuff of dreams.”

Airing this Saturday during The Voice ’Gravy Song’ will lay the groundwork for ’Perfect Portions’ on Monday, which finds a mother and son reminiscing about how his dad used to carve up the turkey.

A dessert course comes in the form of ’Big Sarnie’ on Thursday 19 November where two cousins recall childhood memories of tucking into turkey sandwiches at their gran’s on Boxing Day.

Unifying these films will be the ’Food is Home. Home is Christmas’ message, reinforcing the holiday period as a time machine for recalling shared experiences with family past and present.

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J Sainsbury plc, trading as Sainsbury's, is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, with a 16.9% share of the supermarket sector in the United Kingdom.

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