Sainsbury's Goes Dickensian for Christmas Ad, Creating a Surprising Origin Story

Wieden + Kennedy London blends history with fantasy

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Sainsbury’s opened its doors on London’s Drury Lane in 1869, marking a humble beginning for what has grown into Britain’s second-largest grocery chain.

To play off that history as the brand turns 150—plus a healthy dose of magical realism—Sainsbury’s 2019 Christmas ad from Wieden + Kennedy London tells a Dickensian story based around its first location.

In the spot, the dreary life of a soot-caked young boy called Nicholas the Sweep takes a turn for the disastrous when he’s falsely accused of stealing produce.

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