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Sainsbury's reveals 'home video' ad

Sainsbury's has released a festive campaign of amateur home video to "reveal how Britain really celebrates Christmas".

In a departure from this year's heavily stylised competition, the supermarket giant has chosen to use trailers for the upcoming documentary film Christmas In A Day by Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald.

Macdonald created the film from more than 360 hours of festive footage submitted by people from across the UK, who remain unpaid in an effort to maintain the documentary's authenticity.

They will, however, be the guests of honour at the film's Bafta premiere in London later this month, while Sainsbury's said every person who took part was "a hugely willing contributor".

The first advert is a three-minute 30-second preview of the film that will take up an entire ad break during tonight's episode of ITV1's Coronation Street.

Among its 'stars' are a young boy filmed shouting and leaping around his living room on finding a longed-for present under the tree, a woman struggling with the prospect of killing her geese for the Christmas dinner and an elderly man who produces a spreadsheet for cooking the festive lunch on time and who is later revealed to live alone.

The ad also shows three siblings filming a Christmas message for their father who is serving in Afghanistan just before he surprises them by walking through the door.

Macdonald, who directed The Last King Of Scotland and Touching The Void, won an Oscar for best documentary in 2000 for One Day in September about the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

He also directed 2011's Life In A Day, a documentary shot by film-makers across the world to serve as a "time capsule" to show life on July 24, 2010.

He said the Christmas documentary, produced by Ridley Scott Associates and Scott Free London, captures a "true look at what Christmas in Britain is really like today".

He said: "When we were cutting Life in a Day, we talked about what it might be like if we chose a day that already had significance to people. The result is Christmas in a Day.

"Christmas is the one time in the whole year when ordinary British life suspended. We have time to contemplate life and be with those we love.

"I was overwhelmed by the creativity and enthusiasm of the people up and down the country, from every walk of life, who filmed their Christmas and shared it with us.

"I feel that the finished film stands out for many reasons - it is funny, moving, often beautifully shot and above all truthful. I am immensely thankful to everyone who took part and to Sainsbury's for making the film possible."

Mark Given, head of brand communications at Sainsbury's, said Christmas was often full of "mixed emotions", and accepted that some of the footage - such as the elderly man eating alone - did not fit traditional images of festivities.

He said: "Christmas is real. There are issues for some people. We didn't want to try to editorialise or hide anything.

"For Sainsbury's, this started out as an experiment that we hoped would reveal something interesting about the way we celebrate Christmas in Britain. When we saw the film, we realised it had far exceeded our expectations - we believe this film is something very special indeed and I am proud that Sainsbury's has been involved in this project from the outset."

Sainsbury's traditionally waits until after Armistice Day to launch its Christmas campaign because of its partnership with the Royal British Legion.

The film premieres in its entirety on YouTube on November 29.


From Belfast Telegraph