One of UK’s largest chains of supermarkets, Sainsbury, recently unveiled its very moving Christmas advert, one done in cooperation with the Royal British Legion and centering on the Christmas Truce which happened a century ago during the Great War.
Sainsbury made the said Christmas advert in lieu of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI and it is, indeed, a tear-inducing and fitting one at that.
Christmas Eve, 1914
According to accounts from both sides, on Christmas Day a century ago, soldiers from the German and British armies ventured into No Man’s Land to wish each other a Merry Christmas and play a game of football. The story went down into history famously known as the Christmas Truce and was described in letters and diaries of soldiers from the warring sides.
The truce which occurred in the early part of the conflict was so well-documented and is widely used to portray a touch of humanity in one of the most brutal wars throughout history.
The Story of the Christmas Advert
Sainsbury’s Christmas advert shows the German troops singing Silent Night in their language. The song’s melody carried on to the trench a hundred yards away where the British troops were located and immediately, the Tommies took to singing it up in English.
Eventually, a young British soldier by the name of Jim took up the courage to leave his hiding place in a bid to greet the enemies. Similarly, a young German soldier, Otto, seeing Jim hands up in surrender, ventured out from his trench to meet the British soldier halfway. Both shook hands and told each other their names and the soldiers from both sides followed suit.
Soon, both German and British soldiers were sharing stories and festive greetings with each other. A football match even took place before explosions were heard again signaling that there was a war going on. Both armies exchanged handshakes and parting gifts for the last time before returning to their respective trenches.
Back in his spot, Otto discovered that Jim, whom he shared brief moments of comradeship, had slipped something in his pocket — a bar of chocolate.
Aside from being commemorative, according to its makers, the Christmas advert focuses on how Britons look upon the holidays as a time for families, friends and loved ones to come together. That plays the central theme of the short ad with the message “Christmas is for sharing” displayed out in the end.
Furthermore, the team behind the Christmas advert endeavored to make it as authentic as possible, giving even the tiniest details notice and employing numbers of historians and history buffs to make sure that the story is as real as it gets.
As what the Royal British Legion’s Director of Fundraising, Charles Byrne, pointed out, the Christmas advert was quite powerful not just in its message but also in its bid to be authentic. He believes that proper respect has been given to one of the greatest war stories in history.
The chocolate bar featured in the Sainsbury Christmas advert will be put on sale in its stores until Christmas for £1 with all the profits gained from it donated to the Royal British Legion.
The Sainsbury Christmas Advert, 2014