My aunt had settled in England long ago and during her visits to India, she would bring us gifts from the British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. So, when Sainsbury’s became the target of a harsh online backlash for their Christmas ad, “Gravy Song,” I felt an emotional attachment to the supermarket chain.
I watched the “Gravy Song” and their other Christmas advertisements and felt it evoked nostalgia, family traditions, bonding and closeness. The amateurish videos with simple scripts revealed innocent family ties, likeability, humor and warmth. They were a delight to watch.
I should admit that my prior affinity with the brand, my poor knowledge of British life, customs and ethnicities and the privilege of knowing about Sainsbury’s earlier in life would have impacted my views.
However, when corporate rivals Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Waitrose came together to air their ads one after the other on Channel 4 to take a stand against racism and support Sainsbury’s, I was surprised.
Together, they were ready to take on the online backlash that Sainsbury’s endured for the Gravy Song.
Sometimes we need to understand context, be generous and look at the bigger picture. Often we act before we think on social media.