The first official Chinese supermarket advertisement ever in Britain has been unveiled.
The advert, called “We’re Going to Be Very Happy,” shows an elderly woman wearing a bright pink hat, a green bow tie and a green coat and carries a white tray full of Chinese food.
The advertisement has been commissioned by British grocery chain Sainsbury’s, which plans to expand its Chinese and Indian food brands into China.
It was shot by the Beijing-based agency “Shangshui”, and was designed by British designer David Smith.
“The aim of the project was to show that we are a great and vibrant country, and that we can still achieve success, while taking inspiration from our past,” Sainsburys UK marketing director Ben Whiston told the BBC.
It is the first commercial advertisement in Britain by an independent Chinese-British company, according to the company.
“It’s about celebrating our rich heritage and our strong relationship with China,” the agency said in a statement.
Smith said the advert was the result of years of work on the project, which he described as “a milestone”.
“I’ve always wanted to make a commercial for a Chinese company, so this was the first step,” he said.
He said it also marked a new era in the relationship between the two countries.
“[Sainsbury] saw that we’re going into China in a new way and we wanted to show what that would mean for our Chinese customers,” he added.
The company said it hoped the ad would boost the Chinese brand’s presence in Britain, adding that it was aiming to produce more than a million Chinese food products in the UK by 2020.
Sainsburies has also launched a number of other new food offerings in the past year, including a range of products to help promote British culture and heritage, including tea, coffee, bread and a range on tea.
But the ad has been criticised by the British Food and Drink Association (BFDA), who said it was too “sophisticated” and not “deliberate”.
“The campaign was a bit of a gamble,” said the BFA’s food and drink campaign manager Paul Moulton.
One of the key complaints from the British public, he added, was that the ad did not explicitly tell customers what they would be getting.
For instance, it was unclear what the food would be like.
British supermarkets are among the biggest food and beverage companies in the world, but it is a small slice of the market for the country’s larger supermarkets.
In January, the UK announced plans to slash its food spending by 5.3 per cent next year, and plans to double its food imports by 2020, a move that would require food suppliers to pay for new technologies to reduce waste.
While the move has sparked criticism, some British retailers, including Sainsburgs, are also making headway.
Last month, Sainsbergs opened a brand new restaurant in Coventry and announced a new “fresh” food range, which it says will include dishes such as apple sauce, pork loin and fish roe.
Despite the outcry, the ad will be seen as a positive by some, and may boost sales in China, which has seen a rise in Chinese imports, which are believed to be responsible for a huge proportion of British exports.