By this time 100 years ago, the Western Front was the abattoir it would remain for another four years, and it had already claimed a million lives, the flower of the youth of Germany, France, and Britain. But history does record that imperfectly and spontaneously, here and there along the line, the opponents met, unarmed, in a spirit of the peace of the season. Sometimes, British and German officers formalized a local truce; other times, frontline soldiers just decided to take a day off from shooting one another.
That is the factual basis of the Sainsbury’s ad, above; 3 minutes 41 seconds.
Here’s Sainsbury’s explanation of the history, heavily reliant on primary documents (diaries and letters) and historians to interpret them. This video runs 3 Minutes 18 seconds:
Sainsbury’s people are proud of their efforts on the ad:
Although the events we show in our ad are fictional, we’ve tried to make the details as accurate as possible. Everything from the insignia on the men’s uniform to the depth of the trenches is based on historical fact.
It seems like a lot of money to spend for an ad, but Sainsbury’s, a British chain, always goes all out; a couple years ago they made a 48-minute film of slices-of-British-Christmas-life with the help of Ridley Scott, which couldn’t have been cheap.