Sainsbury's reveals 2017 Christmas advert featuring real-life customers and colleagues  

A young girl singing in this year's Sainsbury's Christmas ad
Real people – not actors – feature in this year's Sainsbury's Christmas advert Credit: Sainsbury's

In recent years, Sainsbury's has upped the stakes in the battle for the best Christmas ad, with its most praised commercial from 2014 depicting a heart-warming account of a First World War Christmas truce.

The strong British theme has continued in several of Sainsburys' adverts since, including last year's which portrayed the struggles of modern British life with an animated character called Dave and English comedian James Corden singing the background track.

This year's no different, with Sainbury's 2017 Christmas advertising campaign featuring members of the British public and Sainsbury’s colleagues singing about the things that help them live well during the festive period.

There are cameos from the likes of English actor Ricky Tomlinson and Kermit the Frog, who sing a festive song written by London-born rapper Ben “Doc Brown” Smith.

The 90-second edit is a "change in direction" from its usual Christmas specials, Sainsbury's said, with the advertisement an extension of the retailer’s concept of "living well for less" – a long-term brand campaign that launched in 2011.

In keeping with the promise to help people live well with good food, the supermarket's advert features 200 real people – rather than actors – from London, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow, and puts its festive food offerings at the heart of the campaign.

Shot partially in black-and-white, the ad, directed by We Are From L.A, the French directing duo best known for making Pharrell Williams’ Happy music video, shows typical Christmas scenes including nativity plays, friends and families dancing around the Christmas tree, and carrying out chores in preparation of the in-laws coming to stay.

Living well has been at the heart of our advertising all year and there is no better time to celebrate that than at Christmas," Laura Boothby, head of broadcast communications at Sainsbury’s said. 

"There are so many rituals and moments that makes each person’s Christmas special and we wanted to feature as many of these as possible – and all set to a catchy festive tune!”

The supermarket would not disclose to The Daily Telegraph how much the advert cost to make.

The Christmas campaign comes as the retailer on Thursday posted a pre-tax profit slump of 40.8pc in the first half of its financial year.  

The scale of the fall was exaggerated by one-off gains in the previous year, but underlying pre-tax profits, excluding one-off costs and gains, dipped 9pc to £251m as higher wages, discounts and losses at newly-acquired Argos weighed on the grocer's bottom line.