This Christmas season, Sainsbury grocery chain partnered with The Royal British Legion to create a touching advertisement inspired by the WWI Christmas Truce that took place 100 years ago.
Christmas Eve of 1914, the year of the onset of WWI, soldiers along the eastern and western fronts ceased fire to join together and sing Christmas carols. German and British soldiers crossed “no man’s land” between the trenches to wish their enemies “Merry Christmas” in their native tongues and exchange gifts of cigarettes and sweets.
The advertisement begins with an image of soldiers hunkered down in the trenches. The British men hear the Germans singing “Stille Nacht” across the battlefield, and begin to sing along in English.
By morning, one German soldier and one British soldier emerge from the trenches to greet each other and shake hands.
The ad portrays the historically documented soccer game that the German and British armies shared in the middle of the battlefield.
The advertisement’s theme “Christmas is for sharing” is shown by the two original soldiers, Jim and Otto, sharing a chocolate bar before each returning to his trench with his own army.
“This year, we wanted to tell this story of sharing,” Sainsbury announced in a statement. “Working with The Royal British Legion, we have chosen to do this through the lens of one of the most extraordinary moments in modern history, when on Christmas Day 1914, British and German soldiers laid down their arms and came together to share a game of football.”
The video, posted on November 12, has so far received nearly 13.5 million views.