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Sainsbury’s Christmas advert tugs at the heartstrings – and reminds us of something

For reasons that’ll probably only ever make sense to our analyst at some point in the future, we’ve decided to blot out our own experiences of the end of term primary school Nativity performance. Did we fluff our lines? Drop the baby Jesus? Accidentally imbibe the myrrh that we were lovingly set to hand over to the proud parents? We’ll never know.

What we do know, however, is that retail giant Sainsbury’s have decided to tug on the heartstrings for this year’s Christmas advert. Soundtracked by a charmingly childish rendition of the New Radicals’ 1998 pop-stomper You Get What You Give, the two-minute short features the sort of immaculately-staged Nativity play that only really exists on telly. Family members beam away, reminding us that, really, isn’t Christmas about spreading and sharing joy? Well, that and multiple slices of decadently rich yule log.

There is one slightly odd thing about the spot — titled The Big Night — which more than a few people have noticed: it’s ever so slightly reminiscent of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” featuring advert that accompanied the recent repositioning of Waitrose and John Lewis as Waitrose and John Lewis Partners.

Both feature children performing, both are intended the warm the cockles of the heart, and both are stuffed with shots of family members barely unable to hide their joy. Still, as Sainsbury’s head of broadcast marketing, Laura Boothby, has said, “Every single school up and down the country is doing a play or nativity play,” which explains why Sainsbury’s themselves don’t seem too fussed by allegations of mild copy-cattery.


Sainsbury’s: The Big Night


Sainsbury’s: The Big Night


Sainsbury’s: The Big Night