The new Christmas ad from Sainsbury’s makes a mockery of the sacrifice of so many people during the First World War. It offends me on so many levels.
I didn’t see anyone with frostbite. I didn’t see any bodies on the barbed wire nor any shattered limbs in frozen shell craters. (If you want to see what it was really like in the trenches see my last post.)
This is schmaltz at its worst.
Obviously, it’s an ad that polarises opinion. Some people, like me, hate it for the reasons above. Others love the fact that it is on behalf of the Royal British Legion.
Well, let me tell you – it isn’t.
True, they may be donating all the profits from the sale of their retro chocolate bar to the Legion. (They’ll more than recoup their ‘charitable’ losses with sales of other products.) But, do you think that’s what the Generals down at Sainsbury’s had in mind when they first hatched their Xmas offensive?
Of course they didn’t. It’s just cynical piggy-backing. It was to get as many punters into their supermarkets as humanly possible to buy all their groceries in the run up to Chrimbo.
If, on the other hand, you think Sainbury’s are just being charitable with their advertising budget, then I suggest you go in and only buy the chocolate bar, then get your groceries elsewhere.
Some doubters about the idea of the ad are still raving about it as a ‘beautiful masterpiece’. I don’t even think it’s a particularly well made film. Whilst I can understand why we don’t see rotting horse carcasses or trees splintered by heavy artillery. Nor men screaming from having their entrails bayonetted out into the mud, or mown down in a hail of machine gun fire. There isn’t even a sniff of grime on their faces or uniforms. (Even the Lynx guys have stubble.) They all look like they’ve just returned from the Army Surplus Store in their brand new duds. And where the hell did all the barbed wire go when they came out of the trenches to meet each other!
It certainly isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. Nor do I think it’s beautifully shot. It’s a saccharin, sanitised, cynical piece of tripe that trivialises the horrors of WWI into a Saturday afternoon Disney matinee.
And, yes, the Jerries did win the match. On penalties.