< Blog Home

Sainsbury’s ‘Food Dancing’/ Wieden + Kennedy

Main Image

With Sainsbury’s announcing in August that it was splitting from long-standing creative shop Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO after a strong 40-year stint, many of us wondered how incoming agency Wieden + Kennedy were going to live up to their legacy. AMV BBDO enjoyed many widely successful campaigns with the supermarket, including some unforgettable Christmas ads – the agency went out with a bang via 2016’s ‘Greatest Gift’ sing-a-long bonanza. However, W+K has sprung into action with its own catchy jingle in its first campaign for the grocery giant which encourages the British public to get ‘food dancing’.


A January launch sees Sainsbury’s capitalizing on those with a ‘New Year, New Me’ mentality that are putting more focus on how they shop, cook and eat as they try and stick to their healthy living resolutions. The centrepiece of the supermarket’s new campaign ‘Food Dancing’ is a 60-second TV ad which shows people dancing joyfully around their kitchens as they prepare meals. The series of scenes, shot in black and white, are played out to the funky specially-created track, ‘Yum Tum Yum’ by UK Hip Hop artist, MysDiggi, and are interlaced with colourful stop motion food animations.



The prominence of the musical element to the ad is pertinent in that Sainsbury’s has teamed up with Spotify for the first Spotify Branded Moments sponsorship deal, which will see its ads appear within the ‘UK Dinner’ playlist. The likeable urban track will also be released on the streaming platform as well as having its own full-length music video featuring MysDiggi himself.


Footage for the campaign, which will also include a series of dedicated Gifs, press and direct marketing materials, was captured by a production team that rocked up in people’s real UK homes, setting up cameras that would catch their jubilant food dancing moments.


W+K’s campaign, handled by PHD for media planning and buying, certainly has all the ingredients to cook up a viral storm. Viewers are being encouraged to film and share their own food dancing videos which could give the campaign even more traction if people get on board - which would be hard to resist given its toe-tapping tune. With support from fellow Sainsbury’s agencies, AnalogFolk, Gravity Road, Seven and Drum, the work has already been intriguing the public via complementary digital billboards at major train stations including London Liverpool Street and new in-store POS material.



‘Food Dancing’ subtly packs a fitness punch in encouraging people not only to ‘Live Well for Less’ by buying and cooking Sainsbury’s products, but also reminds anyone lacking motivation that exercising and moving your body doesn’t have to be tedious; it can be enjoyable and integrated into one’s daily routine. The work’s healthy theme also fits into other business that Sainsbury’s is currently involved in. Where ‘Food Dancing’ promotes the idea of a healthy sustainable life and body, the superstore is also hoping to contribute to a more sustainable environment, through both its scheme for cutting household food waste, ‘Waste Less Save More’, and a push for customers to opt for more vegetarian alternatives in the hope to reduce emissions from livestock production which are detrimental to both health and environment. The latter is a tie up with the Wellcome Trust and Oxford University, ‘Our Planet, our Health’ which will see Sainsbury’s display vegetarian alternatives alongside meat products in stores as well as rewarding veggie product-purchasing customers with vouchers and meat-reducing information leaflets.


At the time of the appointment of W+K to its creative account and the split with AMV BBDO, Sainsbury’s was quoted as looking for a ‘fresh perspective’ and this is surely what they have delivered. ‘Food Dancing’ reaches out to a younger audience through its energetic vibe – an important change in strategy given the rise of popularity of the alternative discount retailers among those with less disposable income. The accompanying sustainability work elsewhere also reassures young shoppers that the supermarket is putting in measures to create a healthier future world for them to live in. The question is whether Sainsbury’s youth-oriented campaign can actually draw more young people into its stores or whether its glory will just be enjoyed from their TV screens and Spotify apps.


Although it is yet to be seen how the ‘Food Dancing’ brand strategy with play out across the year, with supermarkets poised to pivot their campaigns toward any seasonal celebration, all in all the campaign is a great piece of work. The exciting feel-good feeling of waiting for a meal to be cooked is something which everyone can relate to and W+K and Sainsbury’s have nailed conveying this elation in ‘Food Dancing’. It’s a fun and memorable sing-and-dance-along campaign and, as long as it doesn’t get called out by the ‘ad police’ (in a similar vein to last year’s Heinz ‘Can Song’ saga - for encouraging reckless and somewhat dangerous behaviour with kitchen utensils in the name of musical fun), then ‘Food Dancing’ will definitely be getting the nation on its feet.