Sainsbury’s 2020 Advert: A Christmas for Everyone

Sainsbury’s 2020 Christmas TV advert, titled ‘Gravy song’, has received an overwhelming amount of widespread praise for its approach to diversity.

Tens of thousands of people across all social media platforms, including celebrities and influencers, have spoken out in support of the supermarket chain regarding its new inclusive Christmas TV advertisement.

On the lead up to Christmas each year, the British nation eagerly awaits these heart-warming and festive advertisements, often in the form of short films, which are released onto our televisions by the leading supermarket chains. We have seen the likes of the memorable Edgar the Excitable Dragon and Monty the Penguin on our screens in the past years. These adverts, which often cost the brands in question between £5-£15million to produce, are able to gage millions of viewers, the largest audience amounting to 39 million for Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert– ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’ in 2015, therefore acting as a massive, and successful, marketing strategy.

For many, these adverts mark the beginning of the Christmas festivities. This year was no different.

The Sainsbury’s advert, the first of a three-part series, features old film clips, in a vintage and retro style, of a Black British family’s Christmas in years gone by. A voiceover of a phone call between a father and daughter can be heard, the daughter expressing her excitement and hopefulness that the family will be able to spend the coming Christmas together. This advert encompasses all the nostalgic and festive moods that are felt around this joyful period, even adding a classically embarrassing fatherly touch with the daughter begging her dad not to sing his infamous ‘Gravy boat’ song.

This inclusive advert follows Sainsbury’s praiseworthy decision to support Black history month in October, creating a ‘safe space’ online support group for their Black colleagues to share their experiences with one another, as well as showcasing recipes traditionally from Black cultures in their online and instore magazines and newsletters.

Sainsbury’s itself has made a statement in response to the ad’s feedback saying, “we want to be the most inclusive retailer where colleagues love to work and customers love to shop”, confirming that “Sainsbury’s is for everyone and it’s important to us that our advertising reflects this”.

This advert representing such warmth and joy has had over 2 million views on YouTube in just over a week, and over 13,000 comments on Instagram. The multitude of comments speak out in support of Sainsbury’s, mostly nodding to the fact that this Christmas, having suffered a year of Covid related bad tidings, an advert like this is what the nation needed. A reminder of what this year and Christmas is truly about: family. It perfectly reflects the sacrifices that everyone has made this year, aiming to protect the most vulnerable in our families, keeping everyone safe and healthy, and holding onto the hope that one day soon we can be together again.