The annual British Christmas ad wars are heating up, and Tesco wants people to know it's armed with lots of the obligatory bright lights and endearingly ridiculous ornaments.
A new TV commercial from the supermarket chain and Wieden + Kennedy London dramatizes everyman preparations for the holiday—pulling tangled string lights out of the dusty attic, scaling a ladder with a wobbly reindeer, and grinning slack-jawed as a two-story inflatable Santa reaches full stature.
It aims to build toward that wondrous moment when the electricity flips on—another in a string of familiar visual cues that are appropriate, if not particularly risky. And it has some pretty fierce competition in the the quiet charisma of this year's penguin-as-childhood-best-friend ad from department store John Lewis.
But the real gem in Tesco's campaign is the insane outdoor light show it put on at a store in Wigan, outside Manchester (with some of the resulting footage edited into the TV spot). See below for that.
Spurred by a local journalist's Twitter gripe last year that the location's sign didn't have a Christmas hat, Tesco responded with a Christmas rock spectacular that includes a guitar-shredding Santa, turkey Rockettes and a brain-melting bass drop into a Elven electronica dance routine. In the grand finale, Saint Nick basically Hadoukens a neon green crown out of his guitar through the air, onto the "O" in Tesco.
In other words, be careful what you wish for at Christmas—you might get it, and then some.