A heartwarming cultural callback

It’s Christmas ad season! We’ve seen John Lewis x Elton John, Iceland’s ‘banned’ Palm Oil story, and even Twitter celebrating a case of mistaken identity. But this year, our team was charmed by Sainsbury’s offering: The Big Night.

Sainsbury’s The Big Night

The advert takes place in a primary school nativity, and has everything you might expect. Adorable makeshift costumes? Check. Deliberate microphone feedback? Check. Warm fuzzy feeling? Absolutely. We (and many others) think that anchoring their story in a ubiquitously-nostalgic experience for its viewers was a smart move by Sainsbury’s.

But we think there’s something even more exciting going on. And it takes the form of “plug kid”.

Sainsbury’s The Big Night

The highlight of The Big Night came as one of the children, dressed as an exceptionally large plug, soared across the scene into a waiting socket – electrifying the stage at the crescendo of New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give”. This bizarrely brilliant moment reminded us of another British staple: Love Actually.

Love Actually (2003, StudioCanal)

Two years ago, Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy was voted as Britain’s favourite Christmas film, beating American classics Elf and Home Alone to the top spot. The unapologetically-sentimental film culminates in what seems like a regular nativity – until, that is, First and Second Lobster burst onto the scene and steal the show. This, for us, is what makes Sainsbury’s ad so lovely – it subtly pays homage to a moment in British film history that captured so many viewers’ hearts.


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