ASDA Christmas Mum

UK supermarket chain ASDA used Christmas 2012 to show the hard work put into family Christmas gatherings behind the scenes. At the centre of the campaign is “Christmas doesn’t just happen by magic”, a television commercial showing everything through the eyes of a mother (Natasha Symms), ranging from struggling to get the Christmas tree into the car, getting Christmas cards out, untangling Christmas tree lights and choosing toys for the kids. The ASDA Christmas Mum campaign was designed to challenge the perfect, idealistic and unattainable Christmas experience often portrayed in advertising. Responses, however, were mixed. Criticism of the campaign in the UK centred on the phrase “Behind every great Christmas there’s a Mum”, with concerns about reinforcement of gender stereotypes.

ASDA Christmas Mum

Stephen Smith, chief marketing officer at ASDA explains the thinking behind the campaign.

“We have spoken to thousands of Asda mums about what Christmas means to them. They told us that Christmas doesn’t just happen by magic. A lot rests on their shoulders. With people to feed, gifts to buy, and families to keep happy, it can be a very busy time but the experiences they have along the way are priceless. Despite the pressure, their big reward is looking back at the end of Christmas day, at a happy and smiling family, and thinking “I did that”. Nothing made it into the ad, unless it was real insight from real experiences. In research mums said they drew all sorts of inspiration from past family traditions to help them create new, magical memories for their children. We wanted to create an ad that mums could really relate to, something that was familiar and fun. The whole campaign hopefully shows mums up and down the country that we understand they are the ones that put the magic into Christmas and that we are their helping hand, providing solutions for them at an incredibly important family time.”

ASDA Christmas Mum

The TV brand ad was the centrepiece of a bigger integrated three-month Christmas campaign showing the different ways ASDA could help mothers over Christmas, including how to maximise the budget to fill the cupboards with Christmas goodies and Click & Collect spots. Commercials showing a range of Extra Special festive foods were created with Leiths School of Food and Wine.

ASDA Christmas Mum Credits

The ASDA 2012 Christmas campaign was developed at Saatchi & Saatchi London by executive creative directors Kate Stanners and Paul Silburn, copywriters Suzanne Hails and Paul Ewen, art director Phil Clarke, agency producer Marie Hughes, planner Henry Gray, group account director Laetitia Rennie, account director Sheridan Snellgrove, working with ASDA head of advertising and media Jamie Sohosky and head of broadcast advertising Amy Hinsley.

Media was handled at Carat by media planner Helen Pate.

Filming was shot by director Ric Cantor via Outsider with production designer Chris Lightburn-Jones.

Editor was Neil Smith at Work Post with producer Paul McPadden. Post production was done at Golden Square. Sound and music were produced at Wave Studios.