Sainsbury's – The Big Night
Create Sainsbury’s 2018 Christmas campaign.
What we did
We helped Sainsbury’s create some real festive magic with a spectacular Christmas school play.
The two-minute film, directed by The Greatest Showman’s Michael Gracey, follows a young girl nervously stepping on stage before stunning the audience, including her emotional mum, with a stellar rendition of the New Radicals’ classic nineties song, You Get What You Give.
The star is supported by a cast of children playing a host of weird and wonderful Christmas characters, from a nativity camel to baubles and presents and even a set of fairy lights – including the plug, which quickly became a viral sensation #PlugLife. The Daily Mail reported: “Schoolboy who flings himself into a socket in Sainsbury’s festive ad emerges as the surprise star of the season – and fans say he outshines Sir Elton’s John Lewis effort.”
Laura Boothby, Head of Broadcast Marketing at Sainsbury’s, said of the campaign: “This year, we have set out to create an advert that captures the passion, emotion and excitement of the festive season, in a setting that’s familiar to us all – no matter how old we are.
“Customers tell us that what matters most to them at Christmas is spending time together with family and friends and making it truly special for them – and that’s what giving all you’ve got is about.
“We’re honoured to have worked with Michael Gracey and his team this year’s advert. Michael’s credentials from The Greatest Showman and his track record for putting on a real spectacle meant that he was the perfect fit to help us bring the idea to life and encourage the cast to give all they’ve got on stage.”
The film forms part of the brand’s large-scale ‘We give all we’ve got for the ones we love’ Christmas marketing campaign, supported by radio, print, digital, social and OOH advertising.
Plugboy was the undoubted breakout star of this year’s Christmas advertising. Generating thousands of mentions and memes on social media, plugboy, AKA Harrison Wilmot, was even invited to switch on the Christmas lights of his hometown and embarked on a whirlwind media tour as #PlugLife caught the imagination of the UK public.
The Daily Mail reported: “Schoolboy who flings himself into a socket in Sainsbury’s festive ad emerges as the surprise star of the season – and fans say he outshines Sir Elton’s John Lewis effort.”
The film was Campaign Pick of the Month and #8 in films of the year. They wrote: “This is a gorgeous little film. It features a stirring rendition of a well-chosen track with an amazing performance from eight-year-old lead vocalist Tia Isaac and visual design spilling over with charm and humour. I invite you to get over yourself and shed a few tears.”
The British Arrows awarded the film two silvers in Best Over 90 Second Commercial and Retailers categories.