Best use of video 2014 Article icon




Sainsbury’s 20X20 Sustainability Plan sets out 20 ambitious targets to achieve by 2020. But the supermarket also has five values, which are integral to both its success as a business and in achieving its 20 objectives. These values are being the best for food and health, sourcing with integrity, respecting the environment, being a great place to work and making a positive difference to the community in which each store operates. They are Sainsbury’s long-term competitive advantage.

Working with MSLGROUP, the supermarket wanted to find a way to communicate these values while also demonstrating how they are key to how each colleague works and at the heart of its decision-making.

The solution was to appoint Sainsbury’s own people as ambassadors of the values. Auditions were held to identify staff who would star in 42 fun, short films that each conveyed a value story as part of a ‘Little stories, Big difference’ campaign. Each video conveys a different story, whether it is that all Sainsbury’s milk is produced in Britain, or that it employs 1,400 colleagues aged at least 70.

For example, Dana from Sainsbury’s West Wickham store stars in Silly Sausage, where she tastes outdoor-bred pork sausages both indoors and outside before coming to the conclusion that they do indeed taste ‘so much better outdoors’. Jenny from the Bourne store corrects her, explaining that the pigs are bred outdoors and the sausages are RSPCA Freedom Food.

The accompanying information reveals that by 2020, all Sainsbury’s meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products will adhere to independent welfare standards. Carol from Cheadle explains how Sainsbury’s donates surplus food that is past its best-before date but still fine to eat to more than 400 food charities. As she does so, her arms are filled with food items in a film entitled Food stack A special ‘Little stories, Big difference’ section was created on the corporate website, and each video is accompanied by further related information.

The films were launched at

Sainsbury’s annual corporate responsibility event in November 2013, and have been supported by a social media campaign.

The videos were watched several thousand times even before Sainsbury’s launched an internal communications campaign to highlight the initiative, and have been watched almost 8,000 times on YouTube. The films have also been included in personalised customer marketing communications to 1.5 million Nectar cardholders.

The judges described the use of colleagues as ‘a nice touch’. ‘This was an outstanding, authentic campaign,’ they said, ‘using people to tell, with humour in bite-sized chunks, great stories.’