Cannes Lions

Christmas if For Sharing - 1914: A Christmas Truce

AMVBBDO, London / SAINSBURY'S / 2016


1 Silver Cannes Lions






This paper tells the story of how a Christmas advertising campaign for one of Britain’s major supermarkets created a win-win for brand, society and cause.

It’s the story of how Sainsbury’s created a long-term brand platform on the premise that a famous, emotionally laden campaign was the key to success.

It’s about how we learned that fame only comes when people are part of, and can take ownership of your idea.

Ultimately, it’s the story of how Sainsbury’s captured the mood of Britain and in turn won the hearts and minds of the nation, prompting The Mirror to ask ‘Is this the greatest Christmas ad ever?’

In Christmas 2014, Sainsbury’s and The Royal British Legion did something truly bold and risky that would take our partnership to a whole new level. An idea that could only be done as true partners.

This bold decision was made in the toughest of market conditions as the Big 4 supermarkets were being attacked from above and below, and the City was predicting dire losses for Sainsbury’s.

With a campaign budget of £14M for November and December, our objectives were to:

• Win the hearts and minds of the nation; by

• Delivering YOY growth by creating a brand platform that would drive fame for Sainsbury’s

• Overtake Asda to become the 2nd biggest supermarket in the UK.

Despite a 23% decrease in brand spend YOY coupled with bleak predictions from the city, Sainsbury’s succeeded against the odds and overtook Asda to become the second biggest supermarket in the UK.

Sales of the chocolate bar in the ad raised £500k for The Royal British Legion. This, coupled with the push behind the Poppy Appeal amounted to a total of £7M raised by Sainsbury’s for The Royal British Legion, making it one of the charity’s largest supporters.

We defied the City’s predictions and created our own ‘Super Bowl’ moment, smashing 2013’s performance and nabbing the top spot as the category favourite.

Provisional econometric results show that our approach boosted the Profit ROI significantly from 2013, meaning that every pound we spent on the campaign delivered significantly more than last year’s Christmas campaign.

Sources: PHD Media Agency & AC Nielsen (Nielsen 2014/15) & Brand Science.

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