What a let-down I felt watching the new campaign from Tesco hit my TV screen. The campaign had been hotly awaited, following the appointment of creative hot shots Wieden & Kennedy, famous for being Nike's ad agency. Tesco need something big, given their loss of share in their core UK market.
So, what is the big creative idea? Drum roll please... first up, we have.... a Furbie toy singing Hello by Lionel Richie. The ad is pushing the offer to turn £5 of vouchers into £10 of tokens. No, April Fool's day has not come early. This is real. And if you don't believe me, click below on the blog or go here to watch this marketing masterpiece.
Then, we have another Xmas ad with an grandad eating his Xmas pudding and falling alseep in his armchair.
Here's why I find this really disappointing.
1. Lack of a big idea
The Tesco campaign lacks a big idea. It has stuck with Every Little Helps as a tagline; but this is just a line tagged at the end, and nothing more. Contrast this with the brilliant Dotty campaign I posted on here, that was used to dramatise in an entertaining and memorable way different services that were really about Every Little Helps. Like many of Tesco's problems, this has been going on now for several years.
Sainsbury's have shown how to create and execute a big brand idea with Live Well for Less. This is rooted in an insight about being people still wanting to live well in today's hard times. And it has allowed Sainsbury's to take the centre ground position.
The ad not only lacks a big idea. At a more basic level it doesn't dramatise the idea of doubling your vouchers to help make Xmas affordable. The visual story is about finding a Furbie. Only at the end of the ad is the turn £5 into £10 offer slapped on.
3. Lack of confidence
I was expecting something bold, confident and ballsy from Tesco to show they were fighting back. But what we have is a lady pushing a trolley through an eerily quiet store in search of a toy, and not even one that is especially rare. Even the brand's own advertising seems to show that everyone has gone to Sainsbury's to shop!
As I posted on here, Tesco has some big problems to address, to do with sterile stores, lack of innovation and average customer service. These problems have been brewing for several years. The new marketing campaign could have been a rallying call to the whole business to raise its game and tackle these issues. This is how Every Little Helps worked when it was first launched. It wasn't just a tagline, it was a company mantra.The Furbie-focused promotional campaign falls miles short of this in my view.
In conclusion, this new campaign doesn't feel like the start of the Tesco brand revitalisation. Perhaps its a holding execution with something bigger to come in 2013?