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Tesco celebrates its 100th anniversary with time-travelling Christmas advert

Tesco’s Christmas advert has finally aired and it features a delivery driver travelling through time in a Back to the Future-influenced celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary.  

The UK’s largest supermarket has kept its festive advert closely under wraps and sent social media into a frenzy when a Tesco van was spotted on top of a house in Cheshire two days ago. 

The 90-second commercial finally aired for the first time during Sunday’s first episode of the new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!. 

Tesco is the last of the major retailers to release their advert, which they have said is intended to highlight its role ‘delivering Christmas to the nation for the past 100 years’.

In the ad, a Tesco delivery driver called Joel, is transported with his van full of food to various years throughout the past century, after his van gets caught up in Christmas lights.

Tesco have revealed a teaser of their 2019 Christmas advertising campaign, which features a Tesco delivery driver called Joel who travels back in time after his van gets caught up in magical Christmas lights 

Intended to highlight the retailer's role of 'delivering Christmas to the nation for the past 100 years', the driver is seen handing out snacks at a party in the 1970s

Intended to highlight the retailer’s role of ‘delivering Christmas to the nation for the past 100 years’, the driver is seen handing out snacks at a party in the 1970s 

Tesco said its new Christmas campaign, which also includes a raft of new posters and 10-second adverts which will feature on digital platforms, is also intended to highlight new products in its Christmas range

Tesco said its new Christmas campaign, which also includes a raft of new posters and 10-second adverts which will feature on digital platforms, is also intended to highlight new products in its Christmas range

His trip sees him make deliveries to Winston Churchill at Number 10 Downing Street, Jim Bowen during an episode of the classic game show Bullseye, and arriving at a 90s rave with mince pies. 

Tesco would not disclose the cost of the advertising campaign, but said its focus was to ‘make the best use of the campaign to have the best possible effect when reaching customers’.

Alessandra Bellini, Tesco chief customer officer, said: ‘2019 marks 100 years of Tesco helping families up and down the country celebrate Christmas.

‘With the help of a delivery van, a cast from across the decades and a little bit of magic, we’re telling that story.’

Tesco said its new Christmas campaign, which also includes a raft of new posters and 10-second adverts which will feature on digital platforms, is also intended to highlight new products in its Christmas range.

He also visits the set of game show Bullseye, where late host Jim Bowen shows a contestant that they have won a van of Tesco products

He also visits the set of game show Bullseye, where late host Jim Bowen shows a contestant that they have won a van of Tesco products

Jim Bowen presented the popular game show where contestants could win luxury household items between 1981 and 1995

Jim Bowen presented the popular game show where contestants could win luxury household items between 1981 and 1995

Tesco would not disclose the cost of the advertising campaign, but said its focus was to ‘make the best use of the campaign to have the best possible effect when reaching customers’

A Tesco delivery van was also spotted parked on top of a thatched cottage in Knutsford, Manchester, resembling Santa's sleigh without the reindeer

A Tesco delivery van was also spotted parked on top of a thatched cottage in Knutsford, Manchester, resembling Santa’s sleigh without the reindeer

Tesco’s advertising over the past year has highlighted its centenary through the use of figures such as Mr Blobby.

This has also been the focus of the recent launch of its Clubcard Plus loyalty programme, but this was overshadowed by a dispute with Mel B over an advert featuring the Spice Girl.

Tesco pulled the advert, but the singer later said the spat was the result of ‘miscommunication’.

The new advert comes days after John Lewis released its highly-awaited Christmas advert, which featured an excitable dragon called Edgar, while supermarket rivals such as Aldi and Sainsbury’s have also released their festive adverts.

Tom Drew, creative director at BBH London, the creative agency working on Tesco’s campaign, said: ‘Tesco have been helping the nation deliver Christmas for 100 years.

‘That’s pretty magical. We just needed to add a little sparkle to the story.’ 

And here’s what the rivals are serving up! A look at some of 2019’s best Christmas adverts so far

JOHN LEWIS AND WAITROSE

A cute dragon and a soppy song … it’s the John Lewis Christmas ad!

It’s a heart-warming tale with guaranteed smiles and an ending that will reduce many to tears. 

The story of Excitable Edgar and his red-headed friend Ava shows John Lewis setting the standard for Christmas ads once again

The commercial brings together the firm and its sister brand Waitrose for the first time with a sentimental tale of well-meaning Edgar the dragon, who loves Christmas but cannot control his explosive fire breathing dragon. 

Edgar almost burns a carrot in the advert. The adorable dragon struggles to control his fire breathing and is worried he'll ruin Christmas

The John Lewis Christmas advert, Excitable Edgar, features a baby dragon in a historical village where the snow is falling

Worried he will ruin Christmas, he shuts himself away, and Ava dreams up a way to show how much she cares about him, leading to an ending that reveals Edgar as a hero, as part of a theme celebrating the ‘gift of acceptance’

As in previous years, the advert – launched today – comes with an emotive soundtrack, this time a version of the 1980s power ballad Can’t Fight This Feeling by Bastille singer Dan ,Smith and marries live action with animation

Last year’s ad showed the life of Elton John but was panned for acting as an advert for the singer. By contrast, the actress who plays Ava is is ten years old, comes from Scotland and her name is Ruby Dailly.

Ava comes up with the perfect idea to make sure Edgar can also join in with the villagers on Christmas and seems proud as punch

Ava comes up with the perfect idea to make sure Edgar can also join in with the villagers on Christmas and seems proud as punch

WALKERS CRISPS

What price Mariah Carey’s dignity? The American popstar is said to have temporarily replaced Gary Lineker as the ‘face’ of Britain’s biggest crisp brand for a mouth-watering £9 million.

For this, the diva belts out a few bars of her hit All I Want For Christmas before telling us how much she enjoys seasonal kitsch. She then becomes involved in a tug-of-war with a man dressed as an elf over a bag of pigs-in-blankets crisps.

As funny as a cracker joke.

Mariah Carey is said to have temporarily replaced Gary Lineker as the 'face' of Britain's biggest crisp brand for a mouth-watering £9 million

Mariah Carey is said to have temporarily replaced Gary Lineker as the ‘face’ of Britain’s biggest crisp brand for a mouth-watering £9 million

LIDL

Unfortunately, you can’t offer famously low prices if you’re spending a fortune on costly TV adverts.

I presume this is why Lidl’s festive advert seems to be a fairly low-budget affair featuring a family going about their Christmas shopping for the celebrations back home. 

Lidl's festive advert seems to be a fairly low-budget affair featuring a family going about their Christmas shopping for the celebrations back home

Lidl’s festive advert seems to be a fairly low-budget affair featuring a family going about their Christmas shopping for the celebrations back home

It’s certainly delivers a direct message – come to our stores to buy all your Christmas products – I don’t think this will be the one to give the John Lewis ad (out this week) a run for its money.

TK MAXX 

‘Gift different,’ the big-brand discount store urges viewers, by treating friends and family to a wide range of clothes, jewellery, ornaments and toys.

'Gift different,' TK Maxx urges viewers, by treating friends and family to a wide range of clothes, jewellery, ornaments and toys

‘Gift different,’ TK Maxx urges viewers, by treating friends and family to a wide range of clothes, jewellery, ornaments and toys

Making this point is an Evel Knievel-style stuntman who skis down a mountain tossing assorted weird and wonderful gifts to delighted onlookers, before hurtling into a log cabin.

Other Alpine cliches on show in the advert include a St Bernard dog, a ski lift and a man ice-fishing.

ALDI 

Kevin the carrot is being held hostage by an angry mob of Brussels sprouts.

With the help of a friendly tomato, he escapes and legs it into a circus tent full of Christmas treats singing a version of the Robbie Williams hit Let Me Entertain You. 

It's surreal but it would certainly take a heart of stone not to be won over by this unashamedly silly entreaty to 'Put on a show this Christmas'

It’s surreal but it would certainly take a heart of stone not to be won over by this unashamedly silly entreaty to ‘Put on a show this Christmas’

It’s surreal. But it would certainly take a heart of stone not to be won over by this unashamedly silly entreaty to ‘Put on a show this Christmas’.

The script contains a series of extravagant puns which, like sprouts, will divide opinion.

ASDA

Asda's tinsel-wrapped, cliche-stuffed epic is chock-full of snowmen, sleigh bells, gingerbread houses and shooting stars

Asda’s tinsel-wrapped, cliche-stuffed epic is chock-full of snowmen, sleigh bells, gingerbread houses and shooting stars

This tinsel-wrapped, cliche-stuffed epic is chock-full of snowmen, sleigh bells, gingerbread houses and shooting stars. 

The plot sees two wide-eyed schoolkids pop through the roof of their grandfather’s attic with a home-made fishing rod to capture a portion of the Northern Lights in a jam jar. 

Next, they walk the streets chucking handfuls of the stuff around, with magical consequences.

What this has to do with supermarket shopping is, frankly, anyone’s guess.

BOOTS

Known in the trade as a ‘concept’ advert, this is designed to introduce shoppers to a new innovation called ‘Bootiques’

Known in the trade as a ‘concept’ advert, this is designed to introduce shoppers to a new innovation called ‘Bootiques’.

These are ‘little shops’ in larger Boots stores that contain gifts aimed at various modish demographics such as the ‘Tweenager’, the ‘Beauty Kween’ and, inevitably, the ‘Vegan’. You can also find these Bootiques online.

Apparently, they will make ‘gifting’ to hard-to-buy folk less ‘problematic’.

But it’s not all that Christmassy.

MARKS & SPENCER

'Go Jumpers For Christmas' revolves around the premise that unless your guests wear a gaudy novelty sweater, your festive party won't go with a fizz

‘Go Jumpers For Christmas’ revolves around the premise that unless your guests wear a gaudy novelty sweater, your festive party won’t go with a fizz

Times are hard at M&S, which recently crashed out of the FTSE 100, but it refuses to be outshone as the nation’s top purveyor of ultra-reliable knitwear.

‘Go Jumpers For Christmas’ revolves around the premise that unless your guests wear a gaudy novelty sweater, your festive party won’t go with a fizz.

To that end, photogenic dancers and a barking Jack Russell terrier body-pop to the Eighties hip-hop classic Jump Around by House Of Pain. How very jolly.

ICELAND

The Magic Of Frozen, stars favourites Elsa, Anna and the comical snowman Olaf from the film, along with a table groaning under what it calls a 'perfect Christmas dinner'

The Magic Of Frozen, stars favourites Elsa, Anna and the comical snowman Olaf from the film, along with a table groaning under what it calls a ‘perfect Christmas dinner’

In years gone by, the store hoped to dazzle prospective customers with the star wattage of pop-singer-turned-reality-TV-star Kerry Katona.

But now it is aiming for Hollywood, having signed with Disney, which is shortly to release a sequel to the movie Frozen. The resulting advert, The Magic Of Frozen, stars favourites Elsa, Anna and the comical snowman Olaf from the film, along with a table groaning under what it calls a ‘perfect Christmas dinner’.

IKEA

In Ikea's hilarious Christmas ad, toys, chinaware and cuckoo clocks berate a couple about their drab, un-Swedish home via rap

In Ikea’s hilarious Christmas ad, toys, chinaware and cuckoo clocks berate a couple about their drab, un-Swedish home via rap

Toys, chinaware and cuckoo clocks berate a couple about their drab, un-Swedish home via rap. 

Stung into action by this annoyingly catchy, funny ditty (sample lyrics: ‘This place is a mess! / You don’t deserve no guests!’), and decorative snails who tell them ‘If you’re house was a car, it would get pulled over’, they jazz things up the Ikea way: with a new rug, cushions and a £299 kitchen table with a tricky Nordic name. 

Abracadabra. Even the Christmas tree seems perkier. 

ARGOS

The soundtrack of Argos' ad is good — Simple Minds' Don't You (Forget About Me) — but at two and a half minutes, it's too long

The soundtrack of Argos’ ad is good — Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me) — but at two and a half minutes, it’s too long

Its Christmas catalogue has been renamed The Book Of Dreams on the basis, presumably, that the toys, gizmos and household devices will make even the most hard-hearted consumer’s dreams come true. 

Proof of this are a jolly father and his cute daughter who, thanks to a toy drum kit, are transformed into stadium rockers. 

The soundtrack is good — Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me) — but at two and a half minutes, it’s too long. 

AMAZON

This ad appears to have been filmed in America and dubbed into British English for a UK audience. 

Feel-good party scenes, bright-eyed children, handsome young couples falling in love, older couples kissing (above) and crowds singing in snow-covered streets feature in Amazon's ad

Feel-good party scenes, bright-eyed children, handsome young couples falling in love, older couples kissing (above) and crowds singing in snow-covered streets feature in Amazon’s ad

But look past the ‘British’ delivery drivers using the right-hand side of the road, before rocking up to New York apartment blocks, and you’ll find feel-good party scenes, bright-eyed children, handsome young couples falling in love, older couples kissing (above) and crowds singing in snow-covered streets. 

VISA 

Visa's ad encourages people to support the High Street, but it comes across as oddly unfestive

Visa’s ad encourages people to support the High Street, but it comes across as oddly unfestive

To the tune of Queen’s smash hit Somebody To Love, Visa is encouraging us to support our local High Streets. 

A collection of local shop owners belt out the lyrics ‘I work till I ache in my bones’ so I can ‘take home my hard-earned pay’. 

‘Show your High Street Some Love’ runs the tagline — and not, presumably, the faceless chain stores and giant warehouses of online retailers such as Amazon. Oddly un-festive. 

SAINSBURY’S 

Sainsbury’s has unveiled its Christmas advert which harks back to its roots in 1869 as it rounds off its anniversary celebrations.   

And in the retailer’s 150th year, the advert tells the tale of how Father Christmas could have come about. 

Victorian London: The scene sets on Christmas Eve 1869 on Drury Lane where the new J Sainsbury store is open

Victorian London: The scene sets on Christmas Eve 1869 on Drury Lane where the new J Sainsbury store is open 

The advert tells the story of a young chimney sweep, Nicolas, who is in awe of the brand new J Sainsbury store in Victorian London’s Drury Lane.

While Nicholas admires the clementines on offer, his boss sneaks the fruit into his hat.

But the poor boy is caught red-handed as he bends down to pick up an orange that has fallen to the ground.

But the festive cheer is restored when young Nick is rescued by Mary Ann Sainsbury who, having seen the whole event, sets off to the snowy mountains to fetch him back.   

Young chimney sweep Nicholas is in awe of the abundance of clementines on offer at the store

Young chimney sweep Nicholas is in awe of the abundance of clementines on offer at the store

Red-handed: The orphan is caught picking up one of the clementines which accidentally fell on the cobbles

Red-handed: The orphan is caught picking up one of the clementines which accidentally fell on the cobbles 

 

 

 

 

 

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