Belfast Telegraph

Sainsbury's new Christmas ad - is it the most heart-warming of the season so far?

First it was Tesco, then Marks & Spencers and John Lewis brought out their prime-time Christmas secret weapons.

But has Sainsbury's produced the most emotional Christmas advertisment of 2014 so far?

Titled Christmas is for Sharing, the three-minute long TV ad is an “interpretation” of Christmas Day 1914, when British and German soldiers came together on neutral territory to share greetings, treats, and a famous football game.

Sainsbury's has teamed up with the Royal British Legion to create an advert it says is appropriate for the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

And there's a special period chocolate bar that can be bought in store – with profits going to the Legion.

It opens with German troops singing “Stille Nacht” (Silent Night), overheard by a young British soldier, Jim, who bravely leaves his trench and picks his way through No Man’s Land to greet his rivals.

Soon friendship breaks out amidst the madness of the stilled battlefield, and a football match takes place. The rumble of far-off shelling is heard, forcing each side back to their  trenches.

A young German soldier who has shared a moment of friendship with Jim is moved to discover that his British friend has hidden the gift of a chocolate bar in his pocket.

The chocolate will be available to buy in Sainsbury's for £1 in the run up to Christmas, with profits donated to the British Legion.

The limited edition Belgian Milk Chocolate bar is manufactured in Ypres, Belgium, and has period packaging mimicking that of the era.

The advert was first screened during an episode of Coronation Street on ITV last night.

Sainsbury's has also made special The Making Of ... featurettes for those interested in finding out more about the advertisement.

Belfast Telegraph Digital