Iconic ‘Star of Christmas’ Sobeys commercial making a comeback
From the late 1980s through the early 1990s, the Sobeys ‘Star of Christmas’ commercial meant only one thing for Maritimers: Christmas was coming.
Sobeys shot the holiday commercial in 1987. It aired annually until 2004.
Now, word is out the grocery chain has shot a new ad featuring the iconic song and social media has erupted with nostalgic glee.
Sobeys decided to use the ‘Star of Christmas’ song in a new commercial that was filmed in Moncton this week at the Sobeys on Elmwood Drive.
“We were out there all day,” says store manager Todd Redmond. “It was until about nine o’clock at night and they started at eight o’clock in the morning. There was a lot of indoor takes, but it was outdoors too.”
Sobeys says this will not be a re-creation of the original ad, but much like the original it features employees, families and friends.
The original commercial was filmed in Halifax, and it's something people who worked on it still remember.
"It was my first paid job out of Halifax; it was so much fun and very exciting for me," says CTV Atlantic employee Natalie Moyes.
Students from St. Agnes Junior High in Halifax were also featured in the ad.
"We had a lovely school choir,” says music teacher Cynthia Kennedy Davies. “My friend Bob Quinn, who wrote that jingle, called me up and said 'Cynthia, I’ve written a nice Christmas jingle but I need some kids! Do you have any kids to sing on it?' and I said 'Do I have the kids for you!’"
Having the students in the commercial was always the plan, but Davies wasn't supposed to be in the shots.
"I was in behind waving like a banshee trying to keep them organized and everything, and they (the producers) said ‘We have to have this girl in the shots.’ So the next day, they said ‘Come on back with a dress,’” says Davies.
From there, the magic unfolded.
"I knew it was beautiful, but I didn't know it would last 29-years later. It's still a big hit. People are so pumped,” says Davies.
Some of the members of the original cast were reunited in Moncton for the shooting of the new commercial.The former cast members aren't sure whether they'll be in it or not, but for them, the chance to reunite was a gift in itself.
"When I remember music growing up, it makes me so happy because she (Cynthia) just had this way. She was always so vibrant and wanted to bring the best out in us, and she did that,” says original choir member Bahia Makhoul.
For now, Sobeys is being secretive about when the new commercial will being airing.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Priya Sam