Ad of the Day: Tesco Plays Matchmaker for Valentine’s Day With ‘Basket Dating’

What's in your grocery bag?

Are you judging potential Valentines based on their … baskets? If so, British supermarket chain Tesco has the perfect campaign for you.

BBH Live put out a call for a range of single folks—not actors—and asked what they'd put in their shopping baskets for a Friday night at home if they had £20 (about $30) to spend.

Thirty-two people initially participated, divided into four groups for the purposes of the social experiment: younger, older, gay men and gay women. Based solely on the contents of their baskets, psychotherapist Rachel Morris paired 16 couples—four within each group—for potential dates. (Hey, it beats picking partners based on equal measures of desperation, alcohol and swiping right, which is how these things are done most of the time.)

Meetups in the entertaining clip, which is approaching 10 million Facebook views in less than a week, were shot in Tesco's Hemel Hempstead store—with no pre-meets, scripting or retakes. So the participants' reactions in the aisles, we're told, are 100 percent authentic, as are their interactions in the dinner date scenes: 

"It was all based around two insights," BBH's Kate Murphy tells Adweek. "One: that what's in your shopping basket says a lot about you as a person. And two: that you are more likely to find love in a supermarket than a nightclub. We then just worked out a process of how we could test that."

Ultimately, the agency sent four couples on dates. Murphy says two got on well, while two others did not. That's a pretty respectable matchmaking percentage. One couple actually plans to meet in Nepal in a few weeks. 

What's the big takeaway for viewers? According to Murphy, "We want them to feel that Tesco has been brave and gone against the grain by talking about singles, rather than pushing out the same old couples messaging." 

That seems totally on brand. Dating can be scary sometimes, and so can shopping at Tesco.


Client: Tesco

Agency: BBH Live

BBH Live Creative: Kate Murphy

BBH Live Creative Director: Mara Vidal

BBH Deputy Executive Creative Director: Caroline Pay

BBH Live Strategist: Becky Dailey

BBH Live Account Director: Valdemar Domingos

Head of BBH Live: Ben Shaw

BBH Producer: Laura Graham

BBH Assistant Producer: Mary Lou Newnham

Production Company: Black Sheep Studios

Director: David Stoddart @ Dark Energy Films

Executive Producer: Anthony Austin

Producer: Phil Barnes

DoP: Denis Madden

Post Production: Unit

Editor/Editing House: Black Sheep Studios

Sound: Unit

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