Why Sainsbury’s 2014 Christmas Ad Works


Sainsbury’s, the third largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, recently released a Christmas ad called “Christmas is for Sharing” that has garnered a fair amount of attention. The ad eschews traditional advertising messaging, and instead tells a story in three and a half minutes. The story in question is the famous “Christmas Truce” of World War I in which English and German soldiers laid down their arms for one day, shared gifts, played games, and sang songs before returning to fighting after Christmas. The video already has over 9 million views on YouTube.┬áSo why does it work when other holiday content fails?

Why “Christmas is for Sharing” Works

It tells a Great Story

Good storytelling is essential for the success of any brand. “Christmas is for Sharing” is a very good story, very well told. While it may not seem directly related to the brand, it does connect with and emotionally engage.

It Eschews “Commercialization”

Talk to anyone around the holidays and they’ll lament the commercialization of a holiday that’s supposed to be about giving and good will for your fellow human beings. Content like “Christmas is for Sharing” stands out because it isn’t overly commercial. It isn’t directly trying to get you to buy something or getting in your face about great deals at Sainsbury’s. It’s celebrating the spirit of the holiday season and of humanity.

But It Actually Does Say Something About Sainsbury’s

Okay, so the ad doesn’t mention deals or why Sainsbury’s is better than it’s competitors, but the sentiment “Christmas is for Sharing” DOES tell a story about the brand in an indirect way. Christmas is for sharing, so is Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s is aligning itself directly with some of the best characteristics of Christmas, which hopefully, appeals to potential customers.


For more cool Christmas advertising, check out 4 Examples of Great Holiday Content.