Rick Astley, Sainsbury's Xmas ad

Sainsbury's asks what Santa eats for Christmas dinner

The festive ad, featuring pop icon Rick Astley, was created by newly appointed advertising agency New Commercial Arts

By creative salon

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has unveiled its Christmas campaign. Set in a Sainsbury’s store as customers are busy shopping for their big day essentials, a curious girl steps up to the in-store tannoy to ask the all-important question: ‘Hey Sainsbury’s, what does Santa eat for his Christmas dinner?'

Despite initial gasps across the store and from the Big Fella himself, her question sparks a flurry of responses from Sainsbury’s colleagues while they are working in stores and delivering shopping to customers’ doors, with each of them offering their suggestions of festive dishes and treats. As the colleagues share their recommendation, items magically appear plated on Santa’s Christmas dinner table.

Starting with the Taste the Difference Rocking Around the Charcuter-tree sharing platter, followed by a succulent Taste the Difference Buttermilk Turkey Crown or Taste the Difference No Beef Wellington for the main event, Santa revels in the feast appearing before him.

Back in the store, pop icon Rick Astley has his own idea about what Santa might like, innocently asking “how about some cheese?” Quickly, two Sainsbury’s colleagues are not afraid to tell him what they think with Elysha responding, “C’mon Rick, cheese before pudding, you know the rules” and Jason singing “and so do I” in an all too familiar tune as Rick laughs on.

Focus then shifts to dessert as Santa is offered freshly baked mince pies, however he is disheartened by the suggestion of this Christmas staple yet again. So, colleague Raj swiftly steps in with the Taste the Difference Home for Christmas Chocolate Mousse, which seems to tick the box.

This year’s ad signs off with a birds-eye view of Santa’s Christmas feast and an overlay of Sainsbury’s newly announced brand promise ‘Good Food for All of Us’. Announced in September, the new brand promise aims to provide access to innovative and affordable, great tasting food for all customers.

The campaign is the first time customers will see the ‘Good Food for All of Us’ brand platform. It aims to highlight how Sainsbury’s can provide the widest choice of quality food, perfect for every occasion, encouraging customers to ask Sainsbury’s for the answer to their Christmas questions.

For the first time, real life Sainsbury’s employees feature in the retailer’s advert to emphasise the helpful role its 152,000 colleagues up and down the country play at Christmas and all year round.

This year’s advert was created by newly appointed advertising agency New Commercial Arts. The 60-second ad will be supported by a series of 20-second films that focus on different elements of festive shopping including party food, desserts, and budget-friendly options. Leading with the line, ‘Hey Sainsbury’s’, the series will see colleagues reassure us that there’s an answer for everyone, whatever their circumstances, budget or food preferences.

Pop icon Rick Astley said: “For me, food plays such an important part during the holidays and we’re always looking to bring something exciting to the Christmas dinner table whether that’s a new starter or a surprise showstopping dessert.

“It was a real honour and so much fun to join the Sainsbury’s store team on the shoot – even if they did pull me up on my cheeseboard before dessert suggestion!”

Emma Bisley, Head of Campaigns, at Sainsbury’s, added: “The festive season is a magical time of year and our role is to help our customers have an extra special Christmas, especially when it comes to the food. We wanted to create an advert that champions our colleagues all over the country, as well as highlighting the innovation of this year’s Taste the Different range. From brand-new festive treats to offers on household Christmas favourites, Sainsbury’s has something for everyone’s table – whatever the budget or tastebuds.

“With this year’s advert, we wanted to bring to life the fun of the holidays and the excitement that comes with planning Christmas dinner, while showcasing Sainsbury’s variety of delicious and quality products because good food should be for all.”

Ian Heartfield, Founder (CCO) from New Commercial Arts, commented: ““We want Sainsbury’s to be at the heart of every household’s Christmas, and this year’s campaign is fast, festive, fun and full of delicious food.”

Johnny Watters and Angus George, Executive Creative Directors at Ogilvy, concluded: “A lot of brands like to make a big noise at Christmas, but few actually listen to what their customers are telling them. By tapping into the combined power of behavioural science and social listening, we’re giving the brilliant Sainsbury’s colleagues the power to tackle customers’ Christmas challenges in a very personal way. And truly delivering on the brand promise of ‘Good food for all of us’.”


Founder, CCO: Ian Heartfield

Founder, CEO: James Murphy

Founder, CSO: David Golding

Art Director: Alicia Job

Copywriter: Jess Pacey

Artistic Director: Nici Hofer

Creative Director: Dan Bailey

Creative Director: Brad Woolf

Managing Director: Hannah White

Managing Partner: Louise Bodily

Business Director: James Wilkinson

Account Director: Patrick Dedman

Senior Account Manager: Abigail Johal

Account Manager: Jeff Baker

Strategy Partner: Matt Walters

Strategist: Helen Weavers

Director of Production: Matt Craigie Atherton

Deputy Head of Production: Georgia Dickinson

Production Lead: Cara Swindell

Project Director: Gareth Robertson

Design & Artwork: King Henry Studios

Head of Design: Danny Tomkins

Designer: Jasmin Price

Artworker: Lol Keen

Retouching: King Henry Soho

Retoucher: Mark Henry

Motion Graphics: Mat Wardle

King Henry Producer: Cam Henry

Production Company: Pulse Films

Director: Freddie Waters

Producer: David French

Exec Producer:


Editing Company: Assembly Rooms

Editor: Eve Ashwell / Ed Copper

Post-Production: ETC

Post Producer: Alasdair Patrick

Exec Producer:

Grade: Luke Morrison

3D Supervisor: Matteo La Motta

2D Supervisor: Iain Murray

Music Supervisor: Manderley

Music Production: Library track/ Cavendish Music

Music Composer: Fonteyn, Sam

Audio post production: Wave Sound Studios

Sound designers: Ben Gulvin / Harry Butcher

Photographer: Colin Campbell

Photographer’s Agent: Gill Turner


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