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  • 11.12.14

Watch The WWI Christmas Truce Recreated For An Epic Tearjerker Of An Ad

The British grocer gets historical to help raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Watch The WWI Christmas Truce Recreated For An Epic Tearjerker Of An Ad

Britain’s Christmas advertising showdown continues, this time with grocery chain Sainsbury’s recreating the famed Christmas Truce of WWI for its “Christmas Is for Sharing” holiday campaign.

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On Christmas Day 1914, it’s been said that British and German soldiers came out of the trenches into No Man’s Land and played some football before, y’know, getting back to the business of trying to kill each other. War is hell, and depressing, but director Ringan Ledwidge smartly dwells on the brief but friendly connections and smiles the two sides shared.

The brand said in a statement that the recreation is based on original reports and letters, and the team worked with historians, to make it as accurate as possible. There is some artistic license, like when Jim and Otto trade some heartwarming snacks–and Sainsbury’s will be selling the chocolate bar featured in the ad to help raise money for the Royal British Legion.


It’s emotional, seasonal, and ties in with the centenary year of the First World War. The brand says it waits until after Armistice Day (Nov. 11) to launch its Christmas ad out of respect and not to take attention away from raising funds for the Legion. It’s all enough to have Monty the Penguin doing his best Gob Bluth impression.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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