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Church viral ad takes on supermarkets

A new church-produced viral ad by Christmas Starts with Christ, designed to challenge this year’s clutch of Christmas supermarket ads, has been revealed on YouTube ...

A new church-produced viral ad by Christmas Starts with Christ, designed to challenge this year’s clutch of Christmas supermarket ads, has been revealed on YouTube ...
 
Francis Goodwin, who heads up the Christmas Starts with Christ campaign said: “The supermarket viral ads, which were released last month, offered a ‘feel good’ take on Christmas designed to influence consumers into spending money with them. But they all avoided any reference to the religious meaning of the season.

"We thought it was time to produce the Christmas ad which the supermarkets are unable to make – one which shows where the feel good factor comes from. We are asking people to watch it, judge for themselves and share it with friends.”
 
The Christmas Starts with Christ viral ad shows a typical Christmas scene – a modern couple sitting in their living room watching their newly-born baby in a cot– it’s their first Christmas as a family. The fire is lit, the tree has presents under it and in the background we hear the music of The Power of Love. Slowly the family are pulled back to the very first Christmas. As the ad ends, the baby Jesus does something that has never been done before in any ad. He giggles.
 
Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: “There have been a variety of reactions to the supermarket Christmas ads this year. However, they all have one thing in common. Each ad is trying to claim they have the ‘magic’ of Christmas and that if you shop with them then you will experience it.

"But it is not celebrities singing about turkeys, nostalgic chocolate bars or happy penguins that lie at the heart of  Christmas. What the supermarkets are unable to say is where the real ‘magic’ lies and where it comes from. The Christmas Starts with Christ ad takes the viewer to the moment where Christmas began. It is magical. Go and see it for yourself and if you like it – share it with friends.”

ABOUT THE AD

This is the first time UK churches have produced a Christmas video ad as part of a significant social media campaign.
 
The style of the ad lies between the cinematic quality of the Sainsbury ad and the charm of the family shown in the John Lewis ad. It is simply shot with a simple message and there is nothing to buy.

The Power of Love was originally a 1984 chart topping hit by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, whose band members also wrote the song. In 2012 Gabrielle Aplin’s recording of the song also went to number 1 in the UK.

As the ad ends, the baby Jesus does something that has never been done before in any ad. He giggles.

The ad was produced by the award-winning digital agency, Contra. It took 7 hours to film, involved 12 set changes and several days of computer rendering to give it the final cinematic feel.
The Christmas Starts with Christ viral ad cost £10,000 to make and was funded by donations to the campaign.

About the Christmas Starts with Christ campaign

The Christmas Starts with Christ Campaign is in its sixth year. The campaign has the single aim of maintaining Christmas as a Christian festival. It provides a range of worship resources together with promotional and publicity materials. This year will also see radio and poster ads appearing from 14th December onwards and the campaign has partnered with Hope to help promote the Silent Night Carols events.

The campaign team consists of representatives from a wide range of major Christian organisations and denominations, together with professionals from media, marketing and advertising.

Supporters of the Christmas Starts with Christ campaign include:

·         Back to Church Sunday
·         Bible Reading Fellowship
·         Bible Society
·         ChurchAds.net
·         Church Army
·         CPO
·         Evangelical Alliance
·         Jerusalem Productions
·         London Institute for Contemporary Christianity
·         Methodist Central Hall, Westminster
·         HOPE
·         Premier Christian Media
·         Members of the Church of England
·         The Meaningful Chocolate Company
·         The Methodist Church

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