Sainsbury’s Holiday Commercial Sparks Controversy, Over Boy Dressed As Plug
By Mikelle Leow, 03 Dec 2018
Video screenshot via Sainsbury’s
Hearts exploded when UK supermarket Sainsbury’s unveiled its festive ad for 2018. Whereas John Lewis’ spot starred the legendary Elton “Rocketman” John, Sainsbury’s version had what it affectionately dubbed, “Socketman.”
The video, produced by advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy London and directed by Michael Gracey of The Greatest Showman, spotlights a group of schoolchildren performing for a Christmas show. Perhaps stealing the limelight is a boy, dressed as a plug, who connects himself to a wall socket in order to switch on the kid-sized “Christmas lights.”
Simply the best 👍 pic.twitter.com/Mxs23Zyhs8— Dave (@mcfcnorthstand3) November 16, 2018
The child has since been revered by the internet as, ‘Plug Boy’.
Alas, not everyone is feeling the same spark with the ad and its adorable character. According to advertising news site The Drum, 35 people have filed complaints to UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to possibly pull the plug on Sainsbury’s holiday spot.
The complainants cited that children might “emulate” the behavior of the costumed boy. The advertising watchdog is apparently still reviewing these claims.
Of course, the criticism has baffled many a social media user. “If there’s children emulating ‘Plug Boy’ by throwing themselves at plug sockets, they’ve got a lot more to worry about in life!” tweets British Armed Forces veteran Phil Jones.
“‘Plug Boy’ is awesome and kids need to be brought up to distinguish between what’s fiction and reality,” remarks user ‘kmhl_trouble’.
Do you think this scene is worth getting the feelings of at least 35 people hertz?
Yeah cos kids will throw themselves at the wall won't they 🙄 pic.twitter.com/opFtVzSQZ0— Dave (@mcfcnorthstand3) December 2, 2018
People HAVE ACTUALLY COMPLAINED TO THE ASA that the kid in a plug costume who jumps into a plug socket in the Sainsbury Christmas ad is a health and safety risk https://t.co/OZBjvHUUDJ via @BereccaStewart— Jen Faull (@JenFaull) November 30, 2018
OK. Who complained about Plug Kid?? Why are you trying to ruin Christmas? https://t.co/vLDPr7NVHt— Rebecca Stewart (@BereccaStewart) November 30, 2018
If there’s children emulating #PlugBoy by throwing themselves at plug sockets they’ve got a lot more to worry about in life!— Phil Jones (@jonesphil86) December 2, 2018
People are ridiculous. #PlugBoy is awesome and kids need to be brought up to distinguish between what's fiction and reality. Complaints pour in over Sainsbury's Christmas 'plug boy' https://t.co/AMleaaPFjN via @campaignmag— Katherine :) (@kmhl_trouble) November 30, 2018
35 complaints! Probably viewed by millions and 35 people complain,some people need to get a grip. Be a parent teach your kids about safety and plug socket covers should be in place if you have kids! @sainsburys #plugboy— Pammy Wagster (@Pammywaggy) December 2, 2018
This is John's mum.— John McCarthy (@JohnGeeMcCarthy) November 30, 2018
He passed away this morning after copying the Sainsbury's ad by being irresponsible around plugs.
[via The Drum, cover image via Sainsbury’s]
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