Christmas Transformations Show Tesco at its Festive Best
Helping you #BecomeMoreChristmas
As you’d expect from the UK’s biggest retailer, Tesco like to do things a little differently at Christmas, setting trends not following them. Last year’s “The Christmas Party” was one of the few ads brave enough to tackle the UK’s cost-of-living crisis head-on and still came out as a viewer favourite thanks to its mix of topical references and good natured humour.
This year’s Tesco ad with agency BBH has some of the same vibes of entertainment with an edge. “#BeMoreChristmas” isn’t topical but it does go where other Christmas ads fear to tread and acknowledge that no, not everyone is in the festive spirit right away. It tells the story of a teenager who’s at first embarrassed by how into Christmas his family are before a reminder of childhood activates his own Christmas cheer.
It’s a strong story which can grow on a viewer over repeat viewings. But the real joy in the ad isn’t just in the emotional story, it’s in the marvellous effects, with characters transforming into Christmas trees and snow-women as they become “More Christmas”. It’s a lovely visual metaphor for the way little things can suddenly trigger those feelings of Christmas goodwill.
It’s been a strong year for Christmas ads, but against very tough competition the Tesco ad landed in our “12 Ads of Christmas” list with a 5.7-Star Rating for its 60-second version on the Test Your Ad platform. The ad also earns an Exceptional Spike rating predicting short-term sales impact, a sign that the dynamic, emotional story is having an effect on viewers. The combination of human connection, an unusual visual hook and a good story has given Tesco their highest rated Christmas ad yet.
What’s particularly interesting about it is how distinctive it is next to the other big winners this Christmas. Christmas characters – especially animated ones – have been really prominent in the 2023 Christmas ad crop, and no surprise: they’re brilliantly effective elements in a Christmas ad. But if everyone’s using a character, only the very best will stand out. Tesco have chosen to go in a different direction, using storytelling and special effects for a story that’s both grounded in very relatable family dynamics but full of visual joy and wonder. It’s always worth keeping an eye on the ads which zag rather than zig at Christmas, as they just might predict some future trends. We’ve seen a few brands this year experiment with Christmas ads that are a little bit edgier than the festive norm. But nobody has got that balance right as well as Tesco.