Adwatch (Jan 18) - Top 20 recall: Tesco

Tesco ad broke out the fake snow for a series of fell-good Christmas vignettes
Tesco ad broke out the fake snow for a series of fell-good Christmas vignettes

Old-fashioned festive ad communicated the chain's strategy adequately

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It’s the first day back in the office after Christmas and I’m picking through the leftovers of last month’s commercial breaks for Adwatch. Not surprisingly, almost all of them have a festive flavour.

So, knowing that most of us have over-indulged in a certain poultry product within the past month, ?I have decided to pick the Christmas ad in the list that, in my opinion, bears the least resemblance to a turkey.

The Tesco ad isn’t great. It’s certainly not as good as the Des O’Connor spot from a few years back. All the same, it’s very watchable, because it’s nicely observed and there is something new to see every time it’s on.

This is lucky, because it was on rather a lot. For those of you who did manage to miss it, the creative idea is a simple one. We are shown scenes from around Britain, little vignettes of what makes different people’s perfect Christmas.

All the while, the alliterative and sometimes rhyming words spoken by Julie Walters tell us how none of this would be possible without the presence of Tesco in every town and city in the country.

I like the way it’s been shot. I particularly like the opening scene of the fishing boat in Falmouth festooned with fairy lights (allite-ration not intended, but I’ll keep it in, as Marketing has asked me to write a certain number of words, and every little helps).

There’s also something friendly and familiar about this ad. It’s kind of old-fashioned, which is what we ?all want at Christmas. We like every-thing traditional, so we expect a bit of fake snow to be used here and there (in this case, in Manchester and Cumbria).

It is a shame, then, that the commercial ends in a Tesco store, the shelves filled to capacity, the staff eagerly awaiting our custom. We all know what the inside of a supermarket looks like, and we’ve seen loads of product all the way through the execution anyway. So it does seem a bit unnecessary, for an ad that tries so hard to get us in the right mood for Christmas.

Overall, the tone of voice seems to be spot-on for Tesco. It’s not too upmarket; it’s not too downmarket. It’s not too serious, silly, quiet or shouty.

Tesco is positioned as the supermarket for the everyman. The ad is simply trying to tell us that, whoever we are and wherever we live, we can get what we need ?for Christmas at Tesco.

Brand strategy verdict

The ad effectively communicates ?the strategy that Tesco has lots of stores all over the country selling you inexpensive stuff that will make your Christmas special, but I worry about those supermarket shots. Are they in there to show a return to Tesco’s 80s strategy of ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’? I hope not.


League Tables

Adwatch (December 14): Top 20 recall
Latest Dec-07 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 (6=) Argos  CHI & Partners/Mindshare 69
2 -2 Currys & PC World  M&C Saatchi/Walker Media 47
3 (–) Iceland  The Tom Reddy Agency/MediaCom North 43
4 -1 Marks & Spencer  RKCR Y&R/Walker Media 42
5= -5 Isme  Addiction London/Carat 37
5= (–) Freeview  Leo Burnett/MEC 37
5= (–) Burger King  Open & PArtners, DLKW Lowe/Initiative 37
8= (–)  VCCP/ZenithOptimedia 35
8= (–) Aunt Bessie's  VCCP/Vizeum UK 35
10 (–) WH Smith  DLKW/Carat 33
11= (–) The Co-operative  TBWA\Manchester/PHD Rocket 32
11= (–) Nintendo 3DS  Karmarama/MEC 32
11- (–) Lindt  Gotham/MediaCom 32
14 (–) Apple iPad 2  TBWA\Media Arts Lab/OMD UK 31
15 (9=) Aldi  McCann Erickson Manchester/Universal McCann Manchester 30
16= (–) Britvic J20  Bartle Bogle Hegarty/MCHI 28
16= (–) Tesco  The Red Brick Road/Initiative 28
16= (6=) Asda  Saatchi & Saatchi/Carat 28
19 (–) National Lottery – EuroMillions  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/OMD UK 27
20 (–) Microsoft Windows 7  Crispin Porter & Bogusky/Universal McCann 25


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