Is the Sainsburys Christmas Advert Exploiting the World War One Centenary?
UK supermarket Sainsbury’s has divided opinion over its Christmas advert based on the 1914 truce in no man’s land between British and German soldiers.
The World War One imagery, ending with the message ‘Christmas is a time for sharing’, has been praised by some as genius and slated by others as exploitative of the sentiment felt by many during the centenary year.
Sainbury’s made the advert in partnership with the Royal British Legion, a charity dedicated to the wellbeing of war veterans, and claim it has received positive responses, though the Daily Mail says that hundreds of complaints have been filed to the advertising watchdog.
The three minute-plus advert feels like a short film, and shows soldiers in the trenches on Christmas night, before laying down their weapons and coming together in no man’s land. The story of the 1914 Christmas football match is folklore.
That the advert will doubtlessly raise extra funds for the Royal British Legion will be enough for some to say it has been a cause worthwhile, though the fact this is ultimately an advert for Sainsbury’s and thus a commercial tool will leave a sense of distaste among others.
Controversial or not, the ad will be competing with the child-penguin story portrayed by John Lewis, a retailer which for many years has monopolised the sentiment of the UK at Christmas with its heart-felt festive commercials.
According to the Mail the John Lewis ad's stuffed penguins (£95 each) have sold like hotcakes since it aired and rivals are spending millions to outdo it, and only just competing on the viewing figures front. According to City A.M. Sainsbury’s gained 4.03 million YouTube views, while John Lewis was slightly ahead on 4.17 million YouTube views within 24 hours of going live.
Watch the video below to see if you think Sainsbury’s can compete with John Lewis, and whether you believe the supermarket is exploiting centenary sentiment.
New Capgemini Engineering brand fuses digital and physical
With the aim of helping the world’s largest innovators to engineers the products and services of tomorrow, Capgemini has merged its tech and software capabilities with its engineering and R&D practice, the digtial and physical to form a 52,000-strong Capgemini Engineering brand. A move that builds on its acquisition a year ago of engineering giant Altran for over $3 billion.
R&D is the new battlefield
“Today’s leading organisations understand that Engineering and R&D is fast-moving and ever-evolving,” says Aiman Ezzat, CEO, Capgemini. “As a result, an end-to-end partnership with clients is need for developing, launching, managing and modernising breakthrough products.”
Enter Capgemini Engineering. A new brand that unites a unique set of strengths from across Group, bringing together the world-class engineering and R&D capabilities of Altran with Capgemini’s own digital manufacturing expertise.
According to William Roze, CEO of Capgemini Engineering, R&D is the “battlefield” and subsdquently “must be connected and data-driven to optimise innovation and accelerate development”. In answer to this, Capgemini Engineering will offer services to address this need and to “harness the power of data to foster innovation, create new customer experiences and deliver new sources of value".
Merging the expertise of the Group
With this new endeavour, Altran’s capabilities are brought to the fore, a year on from its acquisition, perfectly complementing “the Group’s already well-established portfolio of business offerings and supporting our leadership position in intelligent industry”, says Ezzat.
In fact, just in January 2021, leading global management and strategy consulting firm Zinnov ranked Capgemini as the top of its Leadership Zone for its global Engineering, Research and Development services, pinpointing how as a Group it boasts the largest global delivery network with a presence across all major engineering hubs.
With its 52,000 engineers and scientists and a presence in all major engineering hubs worldwide, the global business line’s services cover three key domains: product and systems engineering; digital and software engineering; and industrial operations.
This is the second time Capgemini has combined various practices to form an integrated powerhouse. Capgemini Invent – a strategy and business transformation consultancy was formed in 2018 by combining Capgemini’s consulting, digital and creative units.