Epic animated Christmas ad brings families together

UK supermarket Sainsbury's has started getting ready for Christmas with the release of an animated advert. With the likes of John Lewis and M&S already leading the way with festive adverts that tap into recognisable Christmas designs, Sainsbury's has enlisted the vocal talents of comedian James Corden to sell its message about a family-focussed holiday.

Running at a whopping three minutes and 35 seconds, "The Greatest Gift" advert is more of a short film than a commercial. Produced by Passion Animation Studios with puppets created by Mackinnon & Saunders Ltd, the stop frame feature took 16 weeks to build, 420 hours to shoot, and required eight weeks of post-production.

Accompanied by a witty song written by Flight of the Concords' Bret MacKenzie, the advert itself tells the story of Dave, an over-worked dad struggling to meet the various demands of the Christmas season. After having the ingenious idea of making clones of himself (with the help of the toy factory where he works), Dave finds time to enjoy the company of his friends and family.

"The advert reflects a typical British family juggling everything they have to at Christmas time, we just hope it puts a smile on people's faces", said Sarah Kilmartin, head of Sainsbury's campaign.

Funds raised by the campaign through sales of the advert's song and related products will go towards creating new accommodation at Great Ormond Street Hospital, so parents can spend more time with their children.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.