Personal meaning

The SuperValu Christmas commercial had personal meaning for the Cork boy who performed there


An eight-year-old boy from Cork stole the heart of the nation for his performance in SuperValu’s moving Christmas commercial.

Cian Kearney, from Douglas, stars as a young boy called Conor who is getting ready for Christmas amid Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Talk to Echo Cian’s father, Ger, explained that the story of the ad, which was hailed for its poignant twist, had personal significance to Cian.

“It made Cian think of his grandparents, he mentioned it a few times and in particular to Grandpa Mackey who passed away a few years ago, to whom Cian would have been very close.

“He felt that message too… he had a personal impression on him,” Ger said.

Ger, who already has acting experience, heard about the role while speaking to a casting director and when Cian expressed his interest in it, he helped him film a self-tape, which did fury with director and producer.

Behind the scenes of the SuperValu Christmas ad. Photo credit: Ger Kearney.

A few days later, after a Zoom call with the director and producer, Cian landed the role.

“Due to the new era we find ourselves in, the procedures were different – everything was done via Zoom,” said Ger, explaining the preparations before filming began.

“With wardrobe it was funny because they were on us [via Zoom] the day before the level 5 lockdown, which meant the wardrobe had to go out and buy all the clothes Cian needed during that time – imagine the queues for Penneys and Dunnes! “

Filming took place in Dublin, where Ger was on set at all times as Cian’s chaperone.

Despite being a newbie to acting, Cian took the filming process like a duck in the water and “loved every minute of it.”

Behind the scenes of the SuperValu Christmas ad.  Photo credit: Ger Kearney.
Behind the scenes of the SuperValu Christmas ad. Photo credit: Ger Kearney.

Ger, who says he is immensely proud of his son, said the “most emotional” part of the whole process was the reaction of Cian’s three-year-old sister to seeing her brother on television.

“Her reaction was so beautiful. She gave him a hug and a kiss – they’re never like that, they fight normally,” he laughed.


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