AMV BBDO Looks to Popular Children’s Book Character for Sainsbury’s Holiday Push

By Erik Oster 

Last year, AMV BBDO’s holiday ad for U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, featuring a depiction of the historic 1914 Christmas Truce between Britain and Germany during World War I proved controversial, with some accusing the ad of inappropriately exploiting emotions associated with the event to further holiday sales for the brand. This year, the agency’s holiday offering for the the chain is safer. Much, much safer. “Mog’s Christmas Calamity” tells the story of Judith Kerr‘s popular feline storybook character saving one family’s Christmas from disaster.

While the rest of the house is dreaming peacefully, Mog wakes up from a nightmare to find the Christmas turkey left on in the oven, in risk of burning the house down. Fortunately, Mog succeeds in connecting with the fire department, but not before the blaze lays waste to the bird, the tree and much of the ground floor of the house, leaving the family, in the words of the narrator, with “no Christmas at all.” But the story, of course, has a happy ending, as the neighbors have a surprise in store (and a just reward for the heroic Mog). Supporting the spot is a new Mog book, written and illustrated by Kerr, which will be sold exclusively at Sainsbury’s, along with a Mog toy. The author, publisher HarperCollins and Sainsbury’s will donate all profits from the sale of the Mog book and toy to U.K. charity Save the Children. 

“Working with Sainsbury’s to deliver a Christmas advertising campaign that resonates with their customers but which is distinct and standout from their competitors is an annual challenge that requires real passion and creativity from our team,” AMV BBDO executive creative directors Adrian Rossi and Alex Grieve told LBB. “Christmas is For Sharing is a simple and powerful message and this year we’ve been able to communicate that in a way that is new and relevant. The fact that we’ve been able to use the ad to generate funds to support Save the Children’s work to improve child literacy in the UK is an added bonus.”

Brand: Sainsbury’s

Creative Agency: AMV BBDO
Executive Creative Director: Adrian Rossi, Alex Grieve
Creative Director: Michael Durban, Tony Strong
Copywriter: Alex Grieve
Art Director: Adrian Rossi
Producer: Rebecca Scharf, Nikki Holbrow
Planner: Cat Wiles, Sophie Caron
Account Management: Gemma Findlay, James Campbell, Lucy Cole

Production Company: Outsider
Director: James Rouse
Producer: Benji Howell

Post Production House: Framestore

Media Agecny: PHD
Planner: Becca Bunbury, Chris Magniac, Liam Doyle

Music and Sound
Composer: Rachel Portman
Sound Engineer: Anthony Moore, Neil Johnson
Sound Design: Factory

Editor: Bill Smedley