Sainsbury’s unwraps ‘The Greatest Gift’ Christmas ad campaign

Sainsbury’s has unveiled a new advertising campaign, which highlights the importance of sharing the gift of time with family and friends this Christmas.

The festive musical style ad has been created and produced in Britain using state of the art stop frame animation techniques.

The full length 3-minute 20-second version was revealed on Monday (November 14) on the supermarket chain’s Facebook (@sainsburys), Twitter (@Sainsburys) and YouTube channels in a social media first launch.

The ad aired for the first time that evening on TV screens during ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ at 9.15pm.

Entitled ‘The Greatest Gift’, the campaign tells the tale of Dave, a hard-working and devoted dad, who comes up with a plan to make sure he can be with his family for Christmas.

Dave’s story is told via an original song, ‘The Greatest Gift For Christmas Is Me’, voiced by English actor and TV host James Corden and composed by Bret McKenzie, a comedian, musician and producer who won the 2012 Oscar for best original song in The Muppets. 

The film opens with Dave in the animated town of Bisby, where he is slightly overwhelmed by the busy Christmas season. One night when he returns home late, he finds his children fast asleep in bed, only to spot a gingerbread man decorated to look just like him.

He has a brainwave – and goes to the toy factory he works at to create a series of replica versions of himself in all shapes and sizes – tapping monkeys, nodding dogs, toy planes and dancing robots.

By sending them to all the places he should be, he manages to make it home in time to be with his family and join in their Christmas celebrations.

The campaign will help raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. All profits from the sale of the specially created Gingerbread ‘Dave’ (£1) and The Greatest Gift film animation kit (£5) will go towards providing dedicated nearby accommodation for families of children at the hospital.

From next Monday (November 21), customers will also have the option to make a 20p donation at the till, or more if specifically requested, with all the proceeds going straight to the charity.

Tim Johnson, chief executive officer of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, commented: “We’re delighted to be Sainsbury’s official charity partner this year. At Christmas, time spent with the people you love is precious.

“For the families of patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital who are unable to go home at Christmas, this is particularly true. More than half of the patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital live outside London, and many are hours away from home.

“Thank you to Sainsbury’s and everyone who supports us through this initiative. We couldn’t be happier to be involved in this campaign and hope everyone enjoys the advertisement and supports this special partnership.”

Sainsbury’s head of broadcast comms Sarah Kilmartin said: “’Christmas is for Sharing’ has been a constant theme for our Christmas ads for the last three years and it continues to have real resonance for our customers.

“This year is no exception and we think many families will be able to relate to the idea that Christmas can be such a busy time that it can be hard to prioritise simple family time together. We hope our advert will remind people of that, while providing some light-hearted entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

“Supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity felt like a very natural extension of this, as we know that the families at the hospital face more difficulties than most to spend time together as a family, at Christmas and all year round.

“We are also incredibly proud to have created this year’s Christmas ad in the UK, using cutting edge technology and the best British talent from the film and animation industry.”

The animated world of Dave will also be reflected in the Sainsbury’s traditional food-focused Christmas advertising campaign, due to launch on Friday (November 18).

Through a mixture of stop frame animation and live action, the film celebrates the role food plays in bringing people together at Christmas.

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