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Tesco's Christmas Ad Is Inspired by Back to the Future - and We Are All for It

Advertising Agency
London, UK
Editors' Choice: BBH London and Traktor deliver Christmas groceries to Winston Churchill, a '90s rave and Jim Bowen's Bullseye in brilliant centenary campaign
Tesco's 2019 Christmas spot is a glorious Back to the Future inspired trip through the UK supermarket's 100-year history.

Created by BBH London and directed by Stink's Traktor, the spot opens on Joel, a Tesco delivery driver making his final drop offs before the big day. He gets caught up in some street lights, which send him back in time to make deliveries to the likes of the Queen, Winston Churchill at 10 Downing Street, dancers at a rave and, best of all to game show host Jim Bowen on an episode of Bullseye.

"2019 marks 100 years of Tesco helping families up and down the country celebrate Christmas," said Alessandra Bellini, Tesco's chief customer officer. "With the help of a delivery van, a cast from across the decades and a little bit of magic, we’re telling that story."

Condensing 100 years of history into 90 seconds is no small feat but to streamline the task, BBH and Tesco looked to focus on events that mattered to the brand. "You could go down into each decade and big historical event but we just picked really key moments in time where we were bringing something to the moment," said Karen Martin, BBH London's managing director. "We were really just picking scenes where Tesco was adding to the moment. We didn't set out to look at every single decade."

Allesandra adds: "Most people will relate to something in there. Not all at the same time but most people can find something in there for them."

One particular scene that will certainly resonate with a particular demographic of former hedonists is the rave scene - something you'd be excused from thinking you'd never see in a Tesco ad. But it does and manages to err on the right side of cheesy without being trivial. Karen tells us that's in part thanks to where they shot the scene - it was in a Hackney warehouse that had hosted raves in the past.

BBH teased the campaign with a cheeky PR stunt on Friday. An actual Tesco delivery van appeared on the roof of a cottage in Knutsford - a small town outside of Manchester - causing a stir across social channels.

Set to the soundtrack of Sleigh Ride by The Ronettes, it was directed by Traktor, a renowned group of filmmakers, who over the last decade have won more awards than any others in the industry.

The Christmas campaign will comprise TV, press, OOH, radio, digital, social, in-store, PR and experiential. Media planning and buying has been handled by MediaCom. BBH has also created a bespoke AR Lens with Snapchat, as well as a Facebook arcade game, in which customers can go behind the wheel of the Tesco delivery van themselves.
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