Tesco delivery driver takes nostalgic trip through Christmases past

Campaign continues Tesco's centenary celebrations.

Tesco’s Christmas ad takes a magical journey through the past century as it continues its 100th-anniversary celebrations. 

Created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, the 90-second film will launch during the premiere of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me out of Here! on Sunday. As with previous iterations of Tesco’s centenary campaign, the spot takes a nostalgic look back at key moments and figures from British culture, but with a festive twist. 

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A Tesco delivery driver is the star of the spot, to show how the supermarket has "helped deliver Christmas for 100 years". Holiday magic triggers a time warp that takes him through past decades to deliver festive food to Dickensian London, Winston Churchill, the Queen, 1980s game show Bullseye, a rave and other retro parties before returning home. It is set to Sleigh Ride by The Ronettes. 

The work was directed by Traktor through Stink. MediaCom handled media planning and buying. 

Shorter versions of the film will run alongside press, out-of-home, radio, in-store, digital and social media executions. Tesco delivery vans will appear in unexpected places around the country – one has already popped up on the roof of a cottage in Cheshire – as part of PR and experiential activity. 

The supermarket also has partnerships with ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News that will see the driver from the ad making cameos on those channels. BBH created a Snapchat augmented-reality lens and Facebook arcade game that lets users get behind the wheel of a Tesco delivery van. 

One of the latest executions is notable for targeting the vegetarian and vegan community, with the tagline: "Meat, meet your match." Last month, Tesco caused controversy among some farmers and vegan sceptics who criticised the latest spot in its "Food love stories" series that depicted a dad cooking a vegan meal for his young daughter after she says she doesn’t want to "eat animals" any more. 

Alessandra Bellini, chief customer officer at Tesco, said of its vegan-friendly ad: "We just want to give the choice to people. We value enormously our relationship with the farmers."

Compared with other Christmas ads this year, Tesco’s is one of the most traditionally festive, with its choice of soundtrack and nods to other seasonal tropes. 

"Because of the mood of uncertainty in the country, bringing something that was fun and festive felt appropriate," Bellini added. 

Tesco’s earlier centenary ads this year brought back well-known characters from the past, such as Mr Blobby, Des Lynam and Morph.

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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