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Our heart-warming Christmas advert shares festive cheer with veterans

Published on December 23, 2019 and last updated on December 23, 2019

Asda Christmas party for members of Clacton-on-Sea Veterans' Breakfast Club

If you're watching TV this Christmas you may see some familiar faces in our heart-warming Christmas advert featuring Clacton Veterans Club.

The advert follows on from our ‘Let’s Make Christmas Extra Special’ advert with Tilly and Jack, which first aired back in November and centred around the people who go the extra mile to spread joy throughout the festive season and make it a special time for all. Across December nearly 400 Asda community champions across the country have been out in force spreading the magic within their local communities delivering over 600 Christmas parties including a very special 1940’s themed Christmas lunch at Clacton Veterans Club.

The story behind this year’s Christmas campaign shows how a little act of generosity from a young girl, inspired by the stories from her Grandad, can snowball into something bigger, more exciting and altogether more magical. This has been carried through into the local communities across the UK with Asda helping to fund and host over 600 Christmas Parties and donate over £1 million through the Asda Foundation.

The advert features Asda Clacton-on-Sea Community Champion Amy Openshaw, who pulled out all the stops to arrange an extra special Christmas party to say thank you to the ex-service personnel who’ve given so much over the years. Amy works closely with the Clacton Veterans Breakfast Club, a group who formed after they helped to open the Asda store three years ago, and secured a donation from the Asda Foundation to help pay for their three-course Christmas meal at St John's church hall, then surprised them by arranging for the hall to be decked out in Christmas decorations, as well as inviting jive dancers and a swing band to entertain the guests.

Eilidh Macaskill, Vice President Creative and Media at Asda, said: “Across December nearly 400 of our community champions have been going the extra mile to spread the magic across festive events in their local communities. Our team loved filming at the Veterans Breakfast Club in Clacton where we took them back to a special 1940’s Christmas party, the group were so welcoming to us and everyone was really in the festive spirit and we at Asda are incredibly grateful to our customers who through our Community Champions, help us support so many communities.

“This generosity is also reflected through our whole Christmas campaign this year, from the wonderful spirit of Tilly and Jack in our ad, to a beautiful digital storybook of ‘Santa’s Leftover Magic’ that has been created in support of our Fight Hunger Create Change Initiative and the doubling of donations from the Asda Foundation to over £1m to support good causes since October.”

The extra sprinkle of Christmas magic was the icing on the cake for the Clacton veterans and their partners, with the oldest member – 96-year-old Fred Henley, who served in the Royal Navy during World War II – saying the party had "made his year".

Dave Bye, 73, who served as a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy for 16 years, including seeing action in Aden, said: "We helped to open Asda Clacton three years ago, so we've have had a special relationship with the store ever since, especially with Amy, who happily gives us donations. We have about 60 veterans on our books who have served in World War Two, Korea, Malaya, Northern Ireland and the Falklands Conflict and we work with organisations such as Help For Heroes and our oldest member Fred was a 'Polar Bear' during the Second World War, on the Royal Navy Russian convoys.”

The ad will air on Christmas Eve during Emmerdale and Googlebox as well as Christmas Day during Coronation Street and The Two Ronnies: The Unseen Sketches. But if you can’t wait to see it, you can watch it here: