In a bid to spread festive cheer, Sainsbury’s has launched its Christmas advert today, marking the beginning of the holiday season’s celebrations. The UK retailer has set the stage in one of its bustling stores, where a young girl’s innocent question over the tannoy, “Hey Sainsbury’s, what does Santa eat for his Christmas dinner?” captures the hearts of customers and staff alike.

The advert, which features real Sainsbury’s employees, is a testament to the supermarket’s commitment to being at the heart of Christmas preparations. The staff, depicted both in-store and delivering goods, respond to the girl’s query with a variety of festive food suggestions from the ‘Taste the Difference’ range. This includes the ‘Rocking Around the Charcuter-tree’ sharing platter and a choice of mains such as the ‘Buttermilk Turkey Crown’ or the vegetarian ‘No Beef Wellington’, all of which appear before a delighted Santa.

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Sainsburys 2023 Christmas TV Advert 8

Adding a touch of celebrity sparkle, pop icon Rick Astley appears in the advert, humorously suggesting cheese as a potential treat for Santa. His idea is met with playful banter from Sainsbury’s colleagues Elysha and Jason, who remind him of the traditional dessert-first rule, with Jason quipping a line from Astley’s own repertoire, much to the amusement of those present.

The focus on desserts sees Santa presented with mince pies, a traditional staple, which he seems less than enthused about. It’s at this point that Raj, a Sainsbury’s colleague, introduces the ‘Home for Christmas Chocolate Mousse’, a dessert that finally seems to meet Santa’s approval.

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This year’s campaign also introduces viewers to Sainsbury’s new brand promise, ‘Good Food for All of Us’, which was announced earlier in September. The promise underscores the supermarket’s dedication to providing a wide range of quality food that is both innovative and affordable, catering to the diverse needs of its customers during the festive season and beyond.

Rick Astley’s involvement in the advert is a nod to the importance of food in holiday celebrations. He comments, “For me, food plays such an important part during the holidays and we’re always looking to bring something exciting to the Christmas dinner table whether that’s a new starter or a surprise showstopping dessert. It was a real honour and so much fun to join the Sainsbury’s store team on the shoot – even if they did pull me up on my cheeseboard before dessert suggestion!”

Emma Bisley, Head of Campaigns at Sainsbury’s, reflects on the role of the advert, stating, “The festive season is a magical time of year and our role is to help our customers have an extra special Christmas, especially when it comes to the food. We wanted to create an advert that champions our colleagues all over the country, as well as highlighting the innovation of this year’s Taste the Different range. From brand-new festive treats to offers on household Christmas favourites, Sainsbury’s has something for everyone’s table – whatever the budget or tastebuds. With this year’s advert, we wanted to bring to life the fun of the holidays and the excitement that comes with planning Christmas dinner, while showcasing Sainsbury’s variety of delicious and quality products because good food should be for all.”

The campaign, crafted by the advertising agency New Commercial Arts, also includes a series of 20-second films that delve into different aspects of festive shopping, from party food to desserts and budget-friendly options. These films reinforce the message that Sainsbury’s is ready to meet all customer needs, regardless of their circumstances, budget, or food preferences.

Content Director at 365 Retail | Website | + posts