Welcome to Sainsbury’s Help Centre

All about our Christmas advert

This year our advert follows the unexpected star of a festive school performance. With the support of her family in the audience and friends onstage, our star shakes off her initial stage fright and ends up giving all she's got, amazing everyone. 

Click the headings below to find out more about our advert. 


Creative concept

Who is the director?
The director is Michael Gracey, who directed the Greatest Showman

Why did you choose to work with Michael Gracey?
Michael has a fantastic track record in putting on a real spectacle, and we knew he was the perfect choice to help our star and her fellow cast give all they've got onstage. 

As a British brand, why didn't you work with British talent?
Supporting local talent is extremely important to us and the creation and production of this year’s ad was all in Britain.

We wanted to make sure that our director was the best person for the job, regardless of where he's from. Michael Gracey has a specific style and approach, as demonstrated in The Greatest Showman, which we felt was perfect for the campaign.

How much did the advert cost
We don't discuss how much we spend on our advertising.

How much did the director cost?
We don't discuss how much we spend on our advertising 

Why is no food featured in the advert?
You will see our delicious food in our other advertising. With our TV advert, we wanted to make people smile at Christmas. If you look closely you should be able to spot a turkey drummer and a Christmas pud!

Who sang the original song?
New Radicals - You only get what you give

Did you put on the show for real?
The children performed the show for real with some of their parents in the audience (who didn’t know anything about what they were going to see!)

Last year you stuck to an all year round creative approach, why did you do something different this year?
This year we have set out to do something that captures the emotion of what it means to give all you've got at Christmas, in a way that looks and feels like Sainsbury's

What's the one message you want people to take away from the ad?
We know our customers like to give all they’ve got to make sure their family and friends have the best Christmas ever – and we’re here to help them do that

What does giving all you've got mean?
Giving all you've got isn't about money. It's the special, thoughtful touches that make Christmas magical for your friends, family and loved ones. In our advert the children are giving all they've got for their loved ones watching on

Why haven't you chosen a traditional (religious) nativity play?
Christmas shows come in all different shapes and sizes, we've taken the best of them all

Why didn't you do anything to represent 100 years since the end of WW1?
We are one of the Royal British Legion's lead partners and raised money for them during the annual poppy appeal. This year we decided to do something that captures the emotion of what it means to give all you've got at Christmas, in a way that makes our customers smile. 

Why haven’t you referenced Jesus or other religious parts of Christmas? It’s what Christmas is about.
As a brand, we support and celebrate lots of religious festivals. We know that for many, Christmas is about togetherness and this is very much part of the advert. We have referenced the Christian context of the festival with nativity characters in our show, but did not want to lean too heavily on this as we understand a wide range of people and faiths celebrate this special time of the year.

Are you encouraging children to play with electricity/jump in a socket?
No, this is a novelty scene showing the joy of turning on the Christmas lights, rather than playing with electricity.

Fireworks are used in the filming, this could be a health and safety issue
Our health and safety team were on set to make sure we were adhering to all requirements

You’re competing in an incredibly fierce market. Don’t you think you’d be more likely to win the battle for your customers’ wallets this Christmas by cancelling the Ad campaign and lowering prices instead?
We put a lot of investment into ensuring that our customers can enjoy great quality products at fair prices all year round – including Christmas. Like many other retailers, we invest in promotional spend ahead of the festive season.

I don't think this year's ad is good as previous years?
Over the last five years we have always taken a different direction with our Christmas ad, and everyone will have their favourite. There has been a lot of support for this year’s ad and we know a lots of our customers are big fans, you only have to look at our Facebook page to see [add real-time positive social media comments as evidence].


Who are the cast?
We have cast children from across the UK with lots of energy and a passion for singing and dancing. They were all fantastic, and we believe they're all going to be future stars!

Who is the singer/star?
Tia is our 8 year old star, from East Ham in London. She has been singing and dancing from the age of 2, but this is her first starring singing role. We think it's the first of many!

Why did you choose not to use celebrities in your campaign like other brands and retailers? Was it a cost-saving exercise?
We chose the best cast for the concept - we wanted it to feel as real as possible, so for lots of the children in our cast this is the first time they've done anything like this! We do believe we may have discovered future stars though…


Why are you not partnering with a charity or selling merchandise this year?
Like last year, our Christmas ad is not linked to a charity partner. Each year, we generate a significant amount in support of charity, community and good causes - last year, we generated £35 million. Our corporate charity partners are Comic Relief and The Royal British Legion, and each of our local stores supports a local charity. We also donate food from over 1,000 stores to food banks and community cafes, and we’re committed to making a positive difference in our communities in any way we can. 

Why did you not just give money to charity this year and make less adverts?
We support charity partners year-round. Like many other retailers, we invest in promotional spend ahead of the busy festive season as it’s an important trading period for us. We don’t publicly comment on how much we spend on our advertising.


Are there colleagues in the ad?
Not this year

You make colleagues work all over Christmas - how can they give all they've got?
We are incredibly grateful to all of our colleagues who work hard all year round - and especially at Christmas - to help our customers give all they've got for the ones they love. 

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