THE LATEST Sainsbury’s Christmas advert has sparked debate among its diverse use of families.

For some people, Christmas the new Sainsbury’s Christmas advert is awaited with baited breath. Competing with the likes of John Lewis, such television advertising gets more and more emotional each year, designed to pull on your heartsrtings… and make you want to buy things. For those who awaited the three minute long advert, ‘The Greatest Gift,’ Sainsburys did not disappoint.

With stop motion animation and a soundtrack from James Corden, the advert was described by some on twitter as a ‘short film,’ while others described it as ‘the world’s most boring Christmas advert.’

The advertisement has been praised on its use of diversity, including mixed race families and same-sex parents. Head of Broadcast Communications Sarah Kilmartin spoke at a press conference on the decision, describing their want to represent a ‘modern Britain.’ She had to say; ‘We’ve made sure we’ve got a true reflection of what we see out there every day.’

This was the second year in a row the supermarket has used a same sex couple in their Christmas ad, however Sainsbury’s history with LGBT issues is not always so positive. This push to include lesbian parents in this year’s Christmas campaign comes just three months after a young gay couple were told to stop holding hands by a security guard in a Hackney branch of the supermarket. This led to gay couples staging a ‘kiss-in’ protest at the store. Killmartin however was very enthusiastic to express Sainsbury’s ‘modern values,’ which were just as important last year as they are this year after the controversy back in August.

Amy Wilkinson, Manchester based jeweler and puppet armature maker had her part in the advert. Alongside her jewelry, Wilkinson said. ‘I also work with Mackinnon & Saunders. The latest project we’ve done is the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert. I made some of the amateurs and some of the glasses, among various other things for the puppets. For those not in the know, amateurs are the basic framework for the puppets before all the features are added.

Wilkinson’s talents have also been put to use in films such as Corpse Bride, ParaNorman and Fantastic Mr Fox. Wilkinson works in Studio One at the Manchester Arts and Craft Center, a joint studio and retail space where her work comes to life. ‘It’s much better than working from home because I can be out and meet people, rather than just feeling isolated and trying to self-motivate. Wilkinson works in this space in the Northern Quarter, where ‘The Greatest Gift’s’ Dave’s glasses were made, with an artist and two other jewelers.

By Anna Greenwood

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