James Corden sings in heartwarming new Sainsbury's Christmas advert

Updated: 

Sainsbury's has joined this year's trend for upbeat festive ads with an animated tale about a father who makes it home in time for Christmas, accompanied by the singing of actor and talk show host James Corden.

Hard-working father Dave is the star of the three minute 20 second ad as he comes up with a plan to clone himself to get his work done in time to join the family festivities.

Sainsbury's official Christmas advert
The new Christmas advert, from Sainsbury's (Sainsbury's/Screengrab)

The musical-style campaign uses state-of-the-art stop frame animation, which required 800 tiny models of Dave's face to portray his full range of expressions.

Flight Of The Conchords star Bret McKenzie, who won the 2012 Oscar for best original song for The Muppets, composed the tune The Greatest Gift For Christmas Is Me which is sung by James and is now being tipped to become this year's Christmas number one.

The campaign will help raise funds for accommodation for the families of children being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity chief executive Tim Johnson said: "Thank you to Sainsbury's and everyone who supports us through this initiative. The money raised will enable us to help more families be together when they really need to be, by providing dedicated accommodation close to the hospital.

"This is a vital resource, enabling parents and carers to be at their child's bedside within minutes, at whatever time of the day and night. We couldn't be happier to be involved in this campaign and hope everyone enjoys the advertisement and supports this special partnership."

Sainsbury's official Christmas advert
The new Christmas advert, from Sainsbury's (Sainsbury's/Screengrab)

Sarah Kilmartin, head of broadcast communications at Sainsbury's, said: "Christmas is for sharing has been a constant theme for our Christmas ads for the last three years and it continues to have real resonance for our customers.

"Supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity felt like a very natural extension of this as we know that the families at the hospital face more difficulties than most to spend time together as a family, at Christmas and all year round."

The supermarket's well-received Christmas 2015 ad featuring children's book character Mog the Cat notched up almost 37 million online views, while the exclusive Mog's Christmas Calamity book topped the UK best-selling book charts for four weeks running.

James Corden
James Corden (Dominic Lipinski PA Wire/PA Images)

In 2014 Sainsbury's, which always waits until after Armistice Day to release its Christmas campaign, teamed up with the Royal British Legion for an ad based on Christmas Day 1914 when British and German soldiers laid down their weapons and met on neutral territory.

The latest ad will screen on TV for the first time tonight at 9.15pm during ITV's I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!.