Christmas ad accessibility: Sainsbury’s

Welcome back to our Advert Advent accessibility review! Yesterday, we took a look at “Merry Techmas” by Currys PC World. Our second Christmas ad review is of the Sainsbury’s advert, “Every bit of Christmas”.


This advert has captions, both open (on the video, just like karaoke) and closed (available via the “CC” button). The captions are of high quality, not generated automatically by YouTube. There are no embarrassing gaffs like the name of the company being misspelled, even the ‘rap’ works well and is in time, with the full words displayed allowing enough time to read them.

YouTube video screenshot

Advert with closed captions of the rap and orange open captions visible behind

The open captions can be a little tricky to read as the text is in Sainsbury’s brand orange on varying background colours, but the closed captions can be customised for better contrast.

Audio description

Whilst there isn’t an audio described version of this video there is nothing visual on the screen that isn’t conveyed through the words, or song, of the family singing and as such there really is no need for an audio described track. It’s really important when we’re working with and advising customers that we take a pragmatic approach and sometimes less is more. In this case, we can’t see what Audio description would add.


The advert is featured on the Sainsbury’s website (bottom of the page). There isn’t a transcript accompanying the video, which would have been a great final touch.

Accessible video player

The video on the Sainsbury’s website uses YouTube’s video player, which is keyboard accessible. However, the video does open YouTube in a second window to play when navigated to using the keyboard. When played using a mouse, it plays on the page. The ideal situation would be for the experiences to be the same whether using keyboard or mouse: the video playing on the page without navigating you away. This is very much a user experience issue and technically meets accessibility guidelines.

The verdict

Great effort, Sainsbury’s! #everybitofChristmas

To find out more about video accessibility and the other Christmas adverts that have already been reviewed, head over to our Advent countdown page.