Pudding it out there: Sainsbury’s reinvents the Christmas pudding in tongue-in-cheek fairy tale advert

Sainsbury’s much anticipated Christmas advert will air for the first time today.

Through a light-hearted tale, this year’s advert celebrates the innovation and creativity of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Christmas range. Centring on one of the most divisive foods – the traditional Christmas pudding – the tongue-in-cheek advert brings to life the imagination and ingenuity which has breathed new life into the festive staple.

The story is set in an imaginary medieval world where a festive feast is being planned. A Countess, played by Alison Hammond, is in charge of choosing the food, but her distaste of Christmas pudding means it is strictly off the menu – that is, until a young cook changes her mind. 

The scene opens with a wide view of a castle surrounded by a forest and mountains. As a dragon flies across the screen, a voiceover from Stephen Fry proclaims: “In a far, far away land, a feast was being planned”. 

The scene then cuts to a crowded room where a line of chefs patiently wait to present menu items for a festive feast to The Countess. An adornment of festive food is happily received, from Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Crab Thermidor Crumpets to Cider Glazed Gammon.

However, when a nervous young cook offers a traditional Christmas pudding, The Countess proclaims: “I’ve never really liked Christmas pudding” and blows out the pudding’s flame. Met with gasps from onlookers, The Countess orders the cook to “Bring [her] something different. Or else.” Stricken with terror, the young chef is back in the kitchen pondering The Countess’ order. The boy has an epiphany and quickly gets to work.

Set to a medieval instrumental version of Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, the cook works day and night, mixing ingredients and even stealing an enormous biscuit from a disgruntled giant. Looking triumphant, the chef admires his final creation. 

As the Countess announces its “treatie time”, the cook approaches, presenting a cloche to reveal a Taste the Difference Caramelised Biscuit Christmas Pudding. Less than impressed that the cook has ignored her and decided to serve Christmas pudding, the room falls into tense silence as they await her verdict. 

After a forkful and moment of pause, The Countess asks, “Is that caramelised biscuit?”. She then proclaims, “Mmm…that’s a bit of me” and breaks into laughter. The room fills with cheer and applause as the cook is praised with a “Well done Babs” and a pat on the back. 

Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the Difference’ logo appears on the screen in a regal purple banner, with Stephen Fry’s voiceover proclaiming: “And that’s why you can Taste the Difference”.

Laura Boothby, Head of Campaigns, at Sainsbury’s says: “Food plays a central role in any celebration, and we wanted to bring to life the imagination and innovation that goes into creating our Taste the Difference Christmas range. We also wanted the ad to provide some fun and light-hearted Christmas cheer and who better to do that than Alison Hammond.

“The festive feast is a quintessential Christmas moment for many and the perfect setting to celebrate what Sainsbury’s does best: delicious, quality, great value food. We’re always creating and developing new recipes and Christmas is the perfect time to experiment with new twists on traditional flavours.

“We’ve focused on the Christmas pudding specifically because we know it’s divisive – people love it, or they hate it – and that’s why we’ve created the Taste the Difference Caramelised Biscuit Pudding. Pudding lovers can still opt for the traditional dessert, but those who aren’t fans can try our innovative take on the Christmas classic instead.”

Alison Hammond says: “I absolutely loved playing The Countess in this year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas advert. It got me feeling all festive and was such a laugh!

“The Taste the Difference Caramelised Biscuit Christmas Pudding was absolutely a bit of me and will definitely make an appearance on our table this year. Just not sure if I can wait until Christmas day to try it again!”  

The advert is one aspect of Sainsbury’s Christmas marketing campaign, with more following over the next few weeks. 

This Autumn, Sainsbury’s is investing £60 million in great value food and grocery via its Sainsbury’s Quality, Aldi Price Match campaign, Price Lock and Special Offers. An additional £5 million is being invested into Argos and Habitat furniture lines.

This forms part of Sainsbury’s two-year plan to invest £500 million to ensure the items people buy most often are on the shelves at the best prices. Customers can find low prices on everyday staples in stores and online – from chicken breasts to mincemeat, butter, onions and bananas. The retailer will also be launching a new community initiative, supporting charities who work with those in need. More details will follow later this month

This year’s advert was created by global advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy London. The advert launches for the first time on Friday 4th November. A 20” and 30” cut will also be shown across TV and on social, with the full 85” advert available to watch on YouTube. 

Freddy Taylor and Phillipa Beaumont, Creative Directors, at  Wieden+Kennedy London say: “To pud or not to pud, the age olde festive question. Every Christmas the pudding debate raises its fruity head again but this year the debate goes fairy tale. We’ve enlisted Countess Alison “the laugh” Hammond, an intimidated young chef and a bardcore version of a Wheatus classic to show the nation there’s a new pud in town.”

For those like The Countess who dismiss Christmas pudding without having tried it, Sainsbury’s is opening the Pud You Dare Café. Visitors can enjoy a traditional pudding or try the brand-new Taste the Difference Caramelised Biscuit Pudding for free. 

Pud You Dare Café will be open to the public 24-25 November at HELLO LOVE, London. Details of how to book will be announced on 10thNovember.

Wieden+Kennedy London Campaign Information:
Project NameOnce Upon a Pudding 
SynopsisSainsbury’s Taste the Difference 2022 Christmas Campaign 
Media ChannelsTV, Social, Digital 
Client NameSainsbury’s 
Creative DirectorsFreddy Taylor & Philippa Beaumont, Juan Sevilla & Joe de Souza 
Executive Creative DirectorSusan Hoffman 
Group Account Director Ollie Pym 
Account DirectorHazel Mc Partlan
Account ManagerSophie Grierson
Chief Strategy OfficerDan Hill
Strategy DirectorGeorgia Challis 
PlannerOllie Chakraverty 
Comms PlannerCalvin Lyon 
Heads of ProductionRich Adkins, Amy Leach 
ProducerSahar Bluck
Production AssistantLea Georgiev 
Project Director Mark D’abero 
Agency ArtworkerDavid Brodie
Design DirectorsPhil Rosier, Alex Thursby-Pelham 
Designer Emma Cope 
Head of Business AffairsHelena Tomas 
Business Affairs ManagerJo Woodfood 
Business Affairs Co-ordinatorLenya James 
Production CompanyAnonymous Content
DirectorTim Godsall
Executive Producer / Managing DirectorVictoria Fitzwilliams
Production Company ProducerStephen Johnson
Production ManagerMarian Mikhail
Director of PhotographyStephen Keith Roach
Production DesignerChris Oddy
Costume DesignerSophie O’Neil
Food Styling Katie Giovanni
Editorial CompanyFinal Cut
EditorRick Russell
Edit AssistantJosh Chadwick
Edit ProducerNikki Porter 
VFX CompanyTime Based Arts
VFX Head of ProductionJosh Robinson
VFX ProducerMia Saunders + Sian Jenkins
2D LeadThiago Dantas
2D ArtistValeria Scalamandre
2D ArtistSarah Breakwell
2D ArtistRia Shroff
2D Artist David Birkhill
2D ArtistOliver Ramsey
3D Lead Mike Battcock
3D ArtistNick Smalley
3D ArtistQuentin Corker-Marin
ColouristLewis Crossfield
Colour Asst.Sharn Talbot + Max Ferguson Hook
Sound Company750mph
Sound DesignerSam Ashwell + Michalis Anthis
Sound ProducerOlivia Ray + Aishah Amodu
Music ProductionMr Pape
Performer & ProducerJoseph Alexander
ComposerBrendan B. Brown
Music Licensing20 Below
Music SupervisionEmily Pritchard
Hero Talent Casting Talent Republic 
CEO Anne Batz
Managing PartnerCharlie Powell
Senior Account Executive Ella Barker 
ResearcherLouise Urwin

Source: Wieden & Kennedy London

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