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.