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The Sainsbury's Christmas Ad Is Absolutely Gut-Wrenching

The annual supermarket Christmas feels competition is possibly getting out of hand.

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Here it is. Word of warning: It will leave you a quivering emotional wreck.

View this video on YouTube

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It began on Christmas Eve (Germans celebrate 24 December more than 25 December). As The Long, Long Trail, a historical website, tells it:

During the afternoon and early evening, British infantry are astonished to see many Christmas trees with candles and paper lanterns, on enemy parapets. There is much singing of carols, hymns and popular songs, and a gradual exchange of communication and even meetings in some areas. Many of these meetings are to arrange collection of bodies. In other places, firing continues.

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The Operation Plum Puddings website, which describes the truce in detail, cites this letter from Private H. Scrutton, Essex Regiment. It was published in the Norfolk Chronicle on 1 January, 1915:

As I told you before our trenches are only 30 or 40 yards away from the Germans. This led to an exciting incident the other day. Our fellows have been in the habit of shouting across to the enemy and we used to get answers from them. We were told to get into conversation with them and this is what happened:

From out trenches: "Good morning Fritz." (No answer).
"Good morning Fritz." (Still no answer).
"GOOD MORNING FRITZ."
From German trenches: "Good morning."
From our trench: "How are you?"
"All right."
"Come over here, Fritz."
"No. If I come I get shot."
"No you won't. Come on."
"No fear."
"Come and get some fags, Fritz."
"No. You come half way and I meet you."
"All right."
One of our fellows thereupon stuffed his pocket with fags and got over the trench. The German got over his trench, and right enough they met half way and shook hands, Fitz taking the fags and giving cheese in exchange."

The chocolate bar in the advert will go on sale in branches of Sainsbury's.

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It's packaged in the same fashion as it would have been in 1914; it'll cost £1 and the profits will go to The Royal British Legion.

Charles Byrne, director of fundraising for The Royal British Legion, told the Mirror that “100 years on from the 1914 Christmas truce, the campaign remembers the fallen, while helping to raise vital funds to support the future of living".

In a statement, Sainsbury's said:

Sainsbury's and The Royal British Legion have sought to make the portrayal of the truce as accurate as possible, basing it on original reports and letters, as well as working with historians throughout the development and production process...

Sainsbury's is one of the biggest supporters of the Legion and waits until after Armistice Day to launch its annual Christmas campaign so that stores can remain focused on raising funds for the Poppy Appeal. In 2013 alone, Sainsbury's raised around £4.5m for the charity through hosting Legion volunteers instore to offer poppies, as well as from the sales of an exclusive range of poppy products and colleague, supplier and customer fundraising.

The supermarket has also posted a making-of video here.

View this video on YouTube

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The thinkpieces on whether the ad is commercially exploitative or not are no doubt minutes away, but for now it's safe to say the advert has gone down extremely well on Twitter.

Stunning @sainsburys #Christmas ad w/ @WaddingtonRBL showing @johnlewisretail how it's really done http://t.co/ecFZBZul8v

Avi Friedmann@avifriedmannFollow

Stunning @sainsburys #Christmas ad w/ @WaddingtonRBL showing @johnlewisretail how it's really done http://t.co/ecFZBZul8v

8:04 AM - 13 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The Sainsbury's Christmas ad is the best Christmas advert I've seen so far

Bethany@_bethlawrenceFollow

The Sainsbury's Christmas ad is the best Christmas advert I've seen so far

7:45 AM - 13 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Well done @sainsburys for using their Christmas ad to raise money for good cause instead of for selling cheap cuddly toys at inflated prices

Karrade (Mark)@karradeFollow

Well done @sainsburys for using their Christmas ad to raise money for good cause instead of for selling cheap cuddly toys at inflated prices

8:04 AM - 13 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

  1. Which is the best Christmas ad?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    M&S
    M&S Two Fairies doing secret good deeds?
    M&S
    Correct
    Incorrect
    John Lewis
    The John Lewis penguin?
    John Lewis
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Via Sainsbury's
    Sainsbury's World War I Christmas?
    Via Sainsbury's
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Which is the best Christmas ad?
  1. M&S Two Fairies doing secret good deeds?
     
    vote votes
    M&S Two Fairies doing secret good deeds?
  2. The John Lewis penguin?
     
    vote votes
    The John Lewis penguin?
  3. Sainsbury's World War I Christmas?
     
    vote votes
    Sainsbury's World War I Christmas?
 
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