Tesco’s Christmas ad

According to the Guardian:

Ray Shaughnessy, creative director at Wieden + Kennedy, the ad agency behind the campaign, said: “This year’s campaign is an important step change for Tesco. They are doing all sorts of unexpected things to help people have a brilliant Christmas. It won’t just be about them making sure you get the best turkey on the table; it will be about making sure that people feel Christmassy too.”

‘It will be about making sure that people feel Christmassy, too.’ (My added comma. I would also have removed ‘that’.)

What an ‘important step change’.

What did they do last year? Use a calypso for the soundtrack? Create a story around the Easter Bunny? Set the ad in North Korea?

Nope. They made sure people felt Christmassy:

Slightly odd press releases aside, will it rescue Tesco from its current doldrums? Well, sorry to everyone involved, but as we say in my neck of the woods, this ain’t gonna move the needle.

It’s so generic that it could be for anyone from Boots to Morrisons, and considering its explicit aim, it doesn’t even make me feel that Christmassy. Perhaps a heavily disguised version of ‘What A Feeling’ wasn’t the best choice of track. The sentiment is fine (if enough people can tell what it is), but it’s got nowt to do with Christmas.

‘It’s Christmas, and we’re here to help, every step of the way’, they claim. Great, I’d like some sausages devoid of horsemeat, accounting devoid of lies and a workforce that isn’t paid on zero hours contracts, please. And if you can pay your suppliers fairly, that would also be a bonus.

I dunno. It seems like a strange move all round: first, it doesn’t feel like the kind of thing W&K would do, and second, it’s a timid move for a broken giant that needs boldness and strength.

Right, that’s enough about Christmas. I’m sitting in the 29-degree heat of Singapore, so it’s time for a trip to Raffles for a dirty martini. When I get back I’d love to know what you think.