SAINSBURY’S heartwarming Christmas advert tells a story of how Santa started out as a chimney sweep who was accused of stealing a clementine.
Sainsbury’s says that the tale is a “totally true story” but in reality “Nicholas” has been created in the spirit of Christmas and there’s no real evidence of the retailer’s founders ever having saved a child in this way.
Even so, Nick the chimney sweep certainly pulls at the heartstrings when he’s accused of stealing a clementine in Victorian England.
The tale has real Oliver Twist vibes – Nick, played by Chris Dunkley, is an orphan and forced to work alongside other parent-less children for an evil workmaster.
It all goes even more pear shaped for Nick after he’s accused of stealing a clementine from the Sainsbury’s grocery cart and dragged through the streets in a cage.
He’s subsequently banished from the city, abandoned in the snow and cold.
Fortunately for Nick, Mary Ann Sainsbury’s witnessed the whole thing, realising that the boy was set up by his workmaster.
Rescuing Nick from his nightmares, Mary Ann gives him is own sack of clementines, squashing the boy’s protests about lack of payment by saying: “If you can’t do something special for someone at Christmas, then when can you?”
Before he leaves, Nick says there’s something that he has to do and he secretly – and magically – drops a fruit into the socks of his chimney sweep friends.
Nick puts on his red coat and hat before walking towards reindeer and his sleigh.
The ad is directed by award winning Ninian Doff, who has also directed a handful of commercials for brands such as Hula Hoops, 02 and GiffGaff.
Sainsbury’s is planning on running a number of promotions on clementines in the build up to Christmas.
Previous campaigns included the adorable Mog the Cat and James Corden singing a song about Dave, a devoted dad who struggled to find the time to get everything done – especially at Christmas.
Its 2014 ad that recreated one of World War One’s most poignant moments – a truce between British and German soldiers to play a game of football – to mark the 100th anniversary.
Are you feeling festive? If so, we’ve put together a round up of all of the Christmas adverts released this year so far.
But the big one – the John Lewis advert – still hasn’t been released but you can check back here for all of the latest rumours on who it will star.