Sainsbury's has chosen to focus on family nostalgia this year in its Christmas campaign, with a trio of bittersweet ads capturing memories of culinary traditions at a time when families won't necessarily be able to meet in-person.
The first spot, "Gravy Song," broke this weekend during ITV show "The Voice," and takes the form of a phone call from a daughter to her father, set to a backdrop of home video-style footage and family photographs. They discuss Christmas dinner and in particular "Dad's gravy," about which he starts singing a family song, much to his daughter's embarrassment.
A second film, "Perfect Portions," shows a mother and son sharing happy memories of Christmases past and reminiscing about the way their dad used to carve the turkey years ago. A final film, "Big Sarnie," shows two cousins catching up and remembering their grandmother's huge turkey sandwiches. Each story ends with the line "Food is Home. Home is Christmas."
The ads are by Wieden & Kennedy London and were directed by ThirtyTwo at Pulse. Though each of the short films is fictional, all were inspired by actual consumer experiences. Emma Bisley, head of broadcast marketing at Sainsbury’s said in an email to Ad Age, "we did talk to lots of people about their memories of food at Christmas when we were building [the stories]."
"As with many of our campaigns this year, it was essential that we stayed relevant to the changing state of lockdown restrictions and national mood," adds Bisley. "Each year, we always take a different direction with our Christmas advert but were particularly mindful to reflect the challenges of this year. We know that Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many of our customers, but we hope the advert represents part of Christmas that most people will fondly remember, with food at the heart. We hope that we bring a smile to those watching, wherever they may be—and leave them looking forward to Christmas."