Forget Father Christmas. This year, Morrisons wants to introduce the nation to another Christmas hero, as part of its ongoing support for British farmers.
Created by agency Publicis Poke, the 60-second TV ad follows two young friends as they discover Farmer Christmas and see the work he does year round to bring food to Christmas dining tables.
The friends explore the North Pole Farm, see Farmer Christmas’s equivalent of Santa’s sleigh, and look into his workshops where “magic helpers” – Morrisons’ own butchers, bakers, fishmongers and florists – are helping to prepare food.
Spotting a table of food at the end of the ad, the two friends excitedly say “he’s been”, and sit down to eat the Christmas meal with their families.
The ad, which forms part of Morrisons’ ‘Make Good Things Happen’ brand platform, premiers today (15 November) in ITV’s This Morning show, followed by spots in The Great British Bake Off and Coronation Street on Tuesday evening. Supporting activity will run across social media, radio, digital and in-store.
Morrisons, which claims to be British farming’s single biggest customer, says it has chosen to hero farmers in its festive ad to thank them for their work and extend its ongoing support for the industry. The supermarket is committed to selling 100% British meat and using British flour in its bakeries.
“Told through the eyes of children, our advert reveals the ‘secret’ of the other star of Christmas,” says chief customer and marketing officer Rachel Eyre.
“It aims to celebrate and showcase all the hard work, skill and dedication that goes on behind the scenes to grow and make the food for Christmas throughout the year. From all the British farmers and growers we work with directly, to our 105,000 colleagues who are delivering, stocking, making and preparing fresh festive food, to bring our customers a Christmas feast for their table.”
As part of the campaign, Morrisons is hoping to tackle loneliness within communities by giving away over a quarter of a million free Christmas cards for children based on the advert. ‘Community Champions’ will work with local groups and primary schools to deliver the cards for children.
Last month Morrisons ended its 54-year run as a publicly traded company as it was bought by US private equity firm CD&R for £7bn.
The UK’s fourth largest supermarket saw like-for-like sales slip by 0.3% in the first half of 2021, dropping by 3.7% in the second quarter alone. First-half profits before tax plummeted by 37.1% to £105m, following £41m in Covid-19 direct costs and £80m of lost profit in cafés, fuel and food-to-go.
With costs expected to be less severe moving forward, Morrisons said it expects profitability to improve “significantly”. The grocer is also making significant moves to become more locally integrated in communities by accelerating the roll-out of its convenience store portfolio, expecting to convent 350 McColl’s stores into Morrison Daily stores by the end of November 2022.