Sainsbury's praises 'huge success' of Christmas campaign featuring Mog the cat

Sainsbury's has claimed its Mog's Christmas Calamity ad has been a "huge success" with 37 million online views that helped the supermarket "trade well" during the festive period.

The FTSE 100 company pointed to the campaign, created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, as an example of its "good performance", despite reporting flat sales.

Sainsbury’s and its agency commissioned author Judith Kerr to create a new children's story about her character, Mog the cat, and made it into a film.

The company said in its trading statement that the exclusive Mog's Christmas Calamity book had topped the UK bestselling book charts for four consecutive weeks.

More than £1.5 million has been raised from charitable donations from selling the book and a soft toy "on behalf of" Sainsbury’s, author Judith Kerr and publisher HarperCollins Children’s Books.

The money will go to support Save the Children’s work to improve child literacy in the UK.

Sainsbury’s, which is considering a bid for Argos owner Home Retail Group, reported a 0.4 per cent drop in like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) in the period at a time when all the established supermarkets are facing a brutal food price war with the discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.

The retailer's chief executive, Mike Coupe, maintained: "We have traded well."

General merchandise increased sales 5 per cent and clothing nearly 6 per cent despite the unseasonably warm weather, which Next and Marks & Spencer blamed for their falling sales growth.

Sainsbury's has invested heavily in advertising. Last year's acclaimed Christmas campaign from AMV BBDO had a First World War theme, with money going to the Royal British Legion.

Last year Gravity Road also made a viral Facebook ad for Sainsbury's clothing brand Tu that featured dancing dads, after which sales of Christmas jumpers doubled. 

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