Created by Leo Burnett, the ad features the festive backing track 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' by Andy Williams, and plays on traditional imagery more commonly associated with Christmas food ads.
Helen Nunn, head of marketing for The Co-operative Food, said that the ad was designed to "play on everyone's emotional attachment to two key events – summer and Christmas".
However, the Christmas theme and accompanying music failed to get consumers or staff into the festive spirit, with multiple posts on the Co-op's Twitter and Facebook pages lambasting the campaign.
Staff were evidently particularly distressed by the repetition of the song on the Co-op's in-store radio and took to The Co-operative Employees Facebook page to vent their frustration.
One poster said: "It's depressing enough as it is with Christmas stock coming in as earlier [sic] as it does without the music being rammed down our throats every other song!"
A similar post simply said: "Get rid of the bloody christmas song its driving us demented and sick of customers moaning about it ".
The Co-op explained its reasoning on Twitter by telling critics, "we think summer is also a wonderful time of year", while some staff also defended the "clever adertising" campaign on Facebook, with one arguing: "People on here complaining about the new ad music are clearly missing the point.
"It's designed to make our customers do a double take and pay attention. That's the whole point of marketing. I'm sure they don't consider us in store in terms of annoyance but to be honest the radio is not for us it's for our customers."