Sainsbury’s  Christmas advert based on the Christmas Day truce between ze Germans and ze Tommies in 1914.

Take that John Lewis with your CGI penguins.

*slowly walks towards enemy machine-gun fire*

Any excuse.

Thanks Andrew Murray

57 thoughts on “All Together Now

      1. huppenstop

        I think Custo was referring to the crassness of using a war, in which millions died, to sell mince pies and tinsel, rather than disputing the historicity of the event.

  1. Drogg

    Brilliant well put together, amazingly shot and delivers its message superbly, who ever made that god awful 1916 ireland inspires video could learn a lot from this.

    1. rotide

      You’re right drogg. The company that made the stg1.5 million commercial could teach the guys who put together the €5,000 video a thing or two.

      amazing deduction.

      1. Drogg

        Rotide you pay for what you get, but I am sure there would be loads of tv and film people willing to dedicate their time to doing a great tribute to 1916 but FG and especially heather humphries are so disrespectful to people who work in the arts and creative industries in this country they’d rather just pay a couple of grand for a piece of s**t video.

        1. Kieran NYC

          Then you’d be moaning about the government expecting to put together an expensive and time-heavy video for free, and how that’s disrespectful to the arts community.

        1. andyourpointiswhatexactly

          Aye, but I think the chorus “all together now in no man’s land” in the Farm song is the reference…

          1. andyourpointiswhatexactly

            I had to look up the lyrics of that song to work out what you were on about.
            HA! Nice work.

      1. ivan

        He didn’t.

        Nor did Hitchcock come up with the idea for Psycho, but most people would reckon Gus Van Sant doing a reshoot of it was utterly pointless…

        1. ReproBertie

          But it’s hardly pointless to recreate something to mark the centenary of the event. Maybe a Sainsbury’s ad is not the perfect medium for it but it may not be the only recreation. Undoubtedly if BBC, for example, have a Christmas Day drama about it to mark the actual centenary people will be on twitter remarking about how Paul McCartney did it before in the hopes that it makes them appear big and celver.

          1. ivan

            Of course not. I saw an exhibit about the Christmas Truce in the War Museum in London and I was this close to tears; it’s a remarkable story – a glimmer of humanity in the mud of a stupid stupid war.

            I’m not taking from the meaning, or the memories – I’m just saying that the general vibe of the advertisement is similar in nature to a pop video. I suppose it has to be. Pipes of Peace told the story of the ceasefire and so does this.

            McCartney *was* one of the first to bring the story to a ‘mainstream’ audience*, but I’ll grant you that was (oh jesus) 30 odd years ago, so the time’s probably right for a newer version.

            *by whcih I mean, I’d never heard of it until I saw the video – mind you, i was rather young.

  2. Paul

    Christmas is the time for maudlin advertisements that other people love and I think are cynical attempts to “own” sentiment.

    1. ReproBertie

      For anyone interested in hearing from the men who were actually there the Imperial War Museum does a Voices of the First World War podcast which has an episode dedicated to (Podcast 9: The Christmas Truce).

    2. Bejayziz

      It wasn’t just Christmas, many parts of the Western Front for quite a long period in the early years of the war were similar, generals were shocked when they visited the lines on a few occasions…they would chat and barter with each other and in some occasions agreed not to shoot each other and would visit each others trenches, this gradually went away as the intensity of the war increased

  3. munkifisht

    F**k me that’s sad stuff. It’s one of the most amazing moments in history but also the saddest that they continued to fight and kill each other for almost four more years. Really brings home what Christams is all about, the special thing of coming together and forgetting for a little while about the reasons you’re might not like each other. Bravo Sainsburys. Superb ad.

    1. scottser

      funny that, cos xmas in our gaff usually ends up in a row of some sort but the rest of the year is grand cos we don’t see each other.

  4. Sinabhfuil


    “Orders were issued at the highest level that anyone persisting with such activity would be courtmartialled. Evidence suggests a number of British officers feared censure over their part in the truce and much effort was made to portray the event as an ideal intelligence-gathering opportunity. Official reports carry information on German regimental insignia, the apparent age and physical fitness of German soldiers and details of enemy trenches…
    “small-scale but prolonged fraternisation took place between British and German infantry at St Éloi in November 1915 and on other sectors relations between opposing troops were reported as friendly.
    Orders were given for artillery and machine-guns to be particularly active on Christmas Day and a number of senior officers made personal visits to the front line to check that soldiers were not engaging in any form of truce.
    “But such measures did not entirely stop the practice. At Laventie, units of the Guards Division fraternised with the 13th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. This incident was quickly stamped out and inquiries held at brigade and divisional level. Matters escalated and on January 4, 1916, repercussions of the event hit the 1st Scots Guards with the arrest of their commanding officer, Capt Miles Barne, and company commander, Capt Sir Iain Colquhoun. Barne was acquitted and Colquhoun recommended for a reprimand at court martial. Colquhoun’s punishment was remitted by Sir Douglas Haig because of his previous distinguished service record.
    “In later years, no major truces occurred on the Western Front.”

  5. Mario Balotelli

    I realise I’m an old cynic, but I just can’t see beyond “SAINSBURY’S – BUY YOUR CHRISTMAS TAT HERE!!” WW1 was hell on earth for millions of young men. Mud, shit, rats and death. Seems a cynical exercise to me to polish it up and use it to flog crackers and 24 packs of Bud.

    1. scottser

      you’re not a cynic, you’re absolutely correct. if you think sainsburys give a toss about anything else except profits then you’re a mug.
      of which your can buy in packs of four for only 2.99

      1. ReproBertie

        But what if I won’t be shopping in Sainsburys? Can I then enjoy the ad and not give tuppence for their crass commercialism and hunger for profit?

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      I hate when corporations commodify history.
      Remember that furniture shop in Bray with the crying Frenchman?

  6. Kieran NYC

    Bet money there was some over-eager young marketer who suggested a ‘classic’ line of chocolate bars based on the one in the ad.

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