A shy little kid is the star of the school production in Sainsbury's holiday ad

'The Greatest Showman' director Michael Gracey helms extravaganza by W&K London

Published On
Nov 13, 2018

Editor's Pick

Sainsbury's holiday ad is out, and it's a super-cute effort by Wieden & Kennedy London that features an incredible school performance starring a cast of adorable elementary-age kids.

Directed by Michael Gracey of Partizan, who helmed this year's hit movie "The Greatest Showman," it's an extravaganza of talent. It centers on a shy little girl dressed in a star costume who starts off timid, but she soon finds her stride and reveals her amazing voice as she performs the New Radicals’ track from the '90s, "You Get What You Give."

However, if the theme sounds familiar, cast your mind back to August, when John Lewis released a spot on a similar theme, featuring a cast of kids performing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" in a jaw-dropping production directed by Dougal Wilson. 

The supermarket has denied that the ad is a John Lewis copycat.  Laura Boothby, head of broadcast marketing, says in a statement: “We started working on our Christmas ad in January! School plays are such an iconic part of Christmas and we wanted to show how much joy these can bring. Our ad--with its black-and-white beginning and plenty of our distinctive orange--is unmistakeably Sainsbury’s.”

It's unfortunate for Sainsbury's, the agency and Gracey that the two commercials dropped so close to each other, because this is an uplifting effort that will entertain both kids and parents alike.  There are some great touches--like the kid dressed as a plug who jumps straight into an outlet to light up the Christmas tree. There's also the keen choice of song, tying in with the tagline "We give all we’ve got for the ones we love."

The ad features almost 60 children from across the U.K., aged six and upwards, and it also captures genuine emotional reactions from the audience, as some of the cast’s parents are featured seeing their child perform the show for the first time.

Also, Sainsbury’s is stocking a children’s star costume to tie in with the spot.



Nov 13, 2018
Client :
Agency :
Wieden & Kennedy-London
Creative Director :
Sophie Bodoh
Creative Director :
Scott Dungate
Creative Director :
Freddy Taylor
Creative Director :
Philippa Beaumont
Creative Director :
Andrew Bevan
Executive Creative Director :
Tony Davidson
Executive Creative Director :
Iain Tait
Group Account Director :
Katherine Thomson
Account Director :
William Smith
Account Manager :
Johno Fagan
Account Executive :
Oliver Mitchell
Account Executive :
Matt Whiteside
Communications Planning Director :
Lee Ramsay
Planning Director :
Tom Lloyd
Planner :
Rachel Hamburger
TV Producer :
Michelle Brough
Production Assistant :
Amy Leach
Project Director :
Mark D’Abreo
Project Director :
Rebecca Herbert
Project Director :
Emily Khoury
Project Director :
Rashel Tashchian
Design Director :
Karen Jane
Designer :
Phil Rosieur
Designer :
Kate Whitley
Designer :
Adam Hunt
Motion/Animation Designer :
Jon Harris
Studio Artworker :
Jody Burson
Studio Artworker :
Jhy Turley
Studio Manager :
David Brodie
Production Company :
Director :
Michael Gracey
Executive Producer :
Jenny Beckett
Line Producer :
David Stewart
Director of Photography :
Pau Castejon
Editorial Company :
Stuart Bowen
Editor :
Stuart Bowen
VFX Company :
Nineteen Twenty
VFX Producer :
David Keegan
Grade :
Kai Van Beers
3D Lead :
Martin Blunden
3D Artist :
Oscar Hill
3D Artist :
Mike Farrah
2D Lead :
Ludo Fealy
2D Artist :
Adam McHale
2D Artist :
Stephanie Daly
2D Artist :
Claire Larkin
2D Artist :
Jenn Epstein
2D Artist :
Ken Hau
Music Company :
Mr Pape
Song Writer :
Gregg Alexander
Song Writer :
Rick Nowels
Publisher :
Publisher :
Master :
Mr Pape
Mix Company :
String & Tins
Sound Design + Mix :
Lawrence Kendrik
Sound Design + Mix :
Will Cohen
Food Photographer :
Aaron Tilley
Food Production Company :
Angela Woods Productions
Food Stylist :
Katie Giovanni
Portrait Photographer :
Ben Hutton
Portrait Production Company :
Twin Productions
Post Production :
Stanleys Post

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