A response to Oli Rogers’ blog post about the Sainsburys Christmas ad.
Think of Sainsbury’s like a supermarket.
A supermarket that has funded an advert, not a short film.
Whether the advert is beautiful or not, really has nothing to do with it.
It’s not a logo barging in at the end that makes it wrong.
It’s a brand barging in on history.
One of history’s darkest events.
An event that saw millions die.
And millions more wounded.
But don’t worry, you won’t see any of that.
Because you know, it’s an advert.
And they want to sell you carrots.
Yes, Hollywood has made a lot of money from war films.
But their product is film.
They are selling representations of war.
You pay to see it.
There is no ulterior motive.
But Sainsbury’s product isn’t films (except in the DVD section I suppose).
Sainsbury’s product is carrots.
So they are using a representation of war to sell carrots.
The ad serves no other purpose.
Sure, there’s a nod to the Royal British Legion.
But that doesn’t make it morally right.
Sainsbury’s are exploiting the events of World War 1 to sell carrots.
Here’s an excerpt.
“The trench warfare of 1914-18 sits near the top of the list of horrors that humanity has inflicted upon ourselves and each other. Although it has recently slipped out of the range of living memory, it remains an iconic scar. Like the Nazi Holocaust or the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan, it lives on as a vivid phantom in our culture, a constant reminder of our capacity to inflict incomprehensible degrees of violence and suffering upon innocent individuals. It surely behoves us as a society to retain those deaths with respect and a degree of reverence. Would we welcome an advert next Christmas showing a touching little scene between a Jewish child and a disabled child in Auschwitz, swapping gifts for Christmas and Hanukah on their way to the gas chambers? I would hope not, yet I fail to see any great moral difference.”