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Sainsbury Christmas ad used in class - yes or no?

(20 Posts)
MeAndMySpoon Mon 17-Nov-14 17:46:37

I have very mixed feelings on this. (as I also do on the advert itself.) Yr2 DS1's class (mixed yrs 2 and 3) are studying WWI at the moment and have had various themed tasks for their weekly Big Write session. This week was 'write a letter from the Front back home, about the Christmas Truce'. Apparently they were all shown the Sainsbury ad today as prep for their task tomorrow (and I had to sit DS1 and his friend down this evening and work our way through their worksheet, which is what we always do for Big Write homework). I was a tiny bit hmm about showing an advert in classtime, but I do appreciate it's not your average ad.

DS1 then volunteered the information that 'you can BUY that chocolate bar in Sainsburys if you like!', which he said his teacher had told the class. So I was a lot more hmm.

I can sense that I'm getting on my high horse about this grin and I already have issues with this particular teacher and her odd judgment, so please say if you think I'm fuming a bit about nothing. If YOU are a primary teacher, is this something you would do? (Show an advert in class as educational material, I mean - I assume/hope you wouldn't then go on to say 'hey, and here's where you can buy the featured chocolate bar!'. And yes, I do know it's all for charity.)

longtallsally2 Mon 17-Nov-14 17:52:38

I used to be a secondary teacher, and tried to be quite careful about use of adverts. They are good for inviting students to think/discuss, but we tried to resist using them to promote products.

You could get him to write a letter home from the hospital, as I believe on 26th December, those soldiers involved in the football match were engaged in battle against each other and many many died or were injured. It would help to put it in a context that Sainsbury's may have missed out!

CatKisser Mon 17-Nov-14 17:58:20

I'm a year 6 teacher and have just used this advert as a writing stimulus for my class. The discussion that arose was brilliant - some children suggested it was wrong to use such a tragic event to promote a supermarket; others thought it was really well made.
Either way, the writing that resulted was just fab.

Personally, I think adverts do have a place in the classroom. We have some great, cynical discussion on persuasive techniques and I always use current adverts for those.

IMO it's nothing to get worked up by.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 17-Nov-14 18:12:31

I don't think I'd have a problem with using this.

How did the chocolate bar discussion come about in class? I might not have been entirely inappropriate to the discussion to mention it. Doesn't mean that the teacher said 'here's where you can buy the featured chocolate bar. Although I'm imagining that's what 99% of 6 year olds would go home and say they were told.

TheEnchantedForest Mon 17-Nov-14 18:15:40

Agree completely with cat kisser. Adverts can be used as a fantastic stimulus for writing, debate, P4C discussions, evaluating persuasive techniques, drama...the list goes on. They are generally not used by teachers as a way of promoting the sales of a particular product!
Adverts can be a huge influence on children, I love teaching children to be really cynical when watching them...and they are!
The way in which the y2 teacher used this-as pat of a unit of work on world war 1 seems entirely appropriate to me. I would perhaps not take the comment about buying the chocolate as gospel! Even if it was said it was probably a light hearted remark!

You may have valid reasons not to like this teacher but I don't think this example supports that view.

PoppyWearer Mon 17-Nov-14 18:16:00

I wouldn't have a problem with it - it's a good way into a tricky subject.

You could also google the "Football Remembers Pack" to look at other ways to explore the Christmas Truce as a basis for learning.

MeAndMySpoon Mon 17-Nov-14 19:22:59

Fair enough, I'll dismount. grin

Catkisser, to be fair, I don't think they were watching this ad in order to have a discussion on cynical marketing or persuasive writing! grin They are yrs 2 and 3 and were watching it as stimulus for writing this letter, as part of the Big Write.

I'm sure I'm overreacting to the chocolate bit, and I do appreciate you can't ever really know the context of a remark, as reported back to you by a 6 yo. hmm All the same, it did seem a bit crass to me.

CatKisser Mon 17-Nov-14 19:30:34

Catkisser, to be fair, I don't think they were watching this ad in order to have a discussion on cynical marketing or persuasive writing!
I know, I was just giving examples of adverts having a place in the classroom. As I said, we used this particular as a writing stimulus and it was really successful.

Jellyandjam Mon 17-Nov-14 20:37:36

I am also a primary teacher and have often used video clips of some form or another for writing stimulus.
I think this sounds like a good lesson.

MeAndMySpoon Mon 17-Nov-14 21:33:31


shimmymummy Tue 18-Nov-14 00:21:41

I work in WW1 studies and my job is to support schools in teaching and discussing the War, and question a lot of the myths that have evolved around the conflict. As mentioned the ad can be a great resource for kick starting a good discussion (I'm also all for Blackadder in the classroom!). But it shouldn't be taught as pure fact (what evidence is there, the trenches didn't look like that, truces happened all the time not just at Xmas etc). I'm also a little squeamish about the commercial aspect of it, but hey if it engages kids.

MidniteScribbler Tue 18-Nov-14 05:38:14

I hadn't seen the advert (I'm not in the UK), but just googled it. It ties in nicely with a unit I'm doing this week, so will use it in my class.

Advertisements can be a good starting point for discussion about many topics. I can't imagine that the teacher has any interest in extending the profits for Sainsbury's when planning her lessons.

icklekid Tue 18-Nov-14 05:45:18

I would be willing to bet another child mentioned about the chocolate and the teacher just agreed. I would also use the ad for big write stimulus especially if studying ww1.

tshirtsuntan Tue 18-Nov-14 06:18:05

This advert was shown in a whole school assembly where I work, as it's not been long since armistice day it ties in with that and was used as an example of the power of singing as communication to create enthusiasm for the Christmas concerts.

Sleepyhoglet Tue 18-Nov-14 06:59:08

As a yr1/2 teacher I think this is a really good idea. Video stimulus can help children to really imagine and get into character. I would use this as a lesson in future.

Sleepyhoglet Tue 18-Nov-14 07:00:58

And another child might have mentioned buying the chocolate. Even if she mentioned it, it is relevant to explain the genre of an advert. Children need to understand purpose of texts/stimulus and discussing it being an advert is the same as talking about fiction/non fiction/poetry etc

hiccupgirl Tue 18-Nov-14 08:14:58

I would bet one of the other kids spotted the Sainsburys logo and made a comment about getting chocolate from there and the teacher probably just agreed....which then turns into my teacher said....

I wouldn't have a problem with my DS watching this at school. He's in reception and they have done quite a bit in assemblies about the anniversary of WW1 starting so it would be relevant as a writing stimulus about writing letters home etc.

itsaknockout Tue 18-Nov-14 09:21:37

My Y5 was shown it at school (and lets face it they will have seen it on telly a hundred times before xmas comes)
The children apparently picked up on the 'disneyfication' ie lack of rats and dead bodies
They had to write a letter home from the front too last week and this week about the poppy memorial

DeWee Tue 18-Nov-14 10:08:24

I don't see it as a problem for year 2. And I'm speaking as one who doesn't have a TV so the dc wouldn't see the ad otherwise.

By year 6 the scene from Oh What A Lovely War might be better, but I suspect there would be objections from year 2 parents-it's a PG. Although ds loved it when he was in year 2, the "Christmas in the cookhouse" song wouldn't be the best to teach them. grin In fact you'd probably get year 6 parents complaining too.
But the last scene when it pans out to the huge number of crosses is very powerful.

And from what you've said I'll bet there was at least one child from the form who went home and said "Teacher says we must buy this chocolate bar from Sainsbury's". That would have been dd2 grin

PastSellByDate Thu 20-Nov-14 10:36:19


I had a look at this add last night and liked it so much I showed it to both children.

Yes - a chocolate bar was shown - but it wasn't particularly recognisable as anything my girls purchase and as regular shoppers at Sainsbury's I can hand on heart say I've never seen bars like this in the aisles at our store. I'm not ruling out the possiblity they're on the Christmas aisle or something - but they aren't overly 'market placement' in the way certain brands are during sporting events, shall we say.

The video is here by the way:

At the end it is made very clear that

1) The Royal Legion were involved in the making of this film

2) It is based on actual diaries from WW1 - and in fact there's a little documentary about that you can link to after watching the video above.


The real story summarised here - the generals on both sides were so disturbed that ordinary soldiers had laid down their arms and were fraternizing with the enemy that the ordered bombing to recommence - and that is in fact what brought the Christmas Truce of 2014 to an end. It was seen as mutiny and essential that soldiers on the front return to a war footing/ follow orders.

Now my feeling is this 'incident' is worth discussing.

For Y1/2 pupils (as your DS) I agree the whole issue of the generals far away ordering ordinary people to lay down their lives (as they did in their millions) is not appropriate.

But - the idea that although these people were at war - they weren't really that different, they knew Silent Night, but sang it in their own languages - they loved football...they enjoyed chocolate - is an important message - even at 5-7 years of age.


Meandmyspoon - 2014 is indeed the 100th anniversary of the 1914-1918 War - we now call WW1 - but was considered at the time to be 'The War to end all wars' - and even at this very young age - starting to learn about it is important -


because just over 800,000 men (often very young) died in WW1 from the UK - 16 million deaths from all participants.

because it radically altered monarchies in Europe

because it introduced open questioning of the 'elite' - generals/ politicians

because it didn't really solve anything.

Your DS is far too young to really address any of the above - but a 3 minute clip that explains there was once a war (reduced to Britain vs. Germany) and ordinary people (who were really quite similar) fought on both sides - isn't a bad starting point.

The subtext of that advert - ignoring orders, taking that risk to find out what the other side of an argument is like - now raising a generation who intuitively think like that - gosh that will be interesting....

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