Tesco’s tactical ad signals change to come

Tesco’s first TV campaign created by recently appointed agency Wieden + Kennedy, which aired over the weekend, signals a definite shift in creative approach for the supermarket.

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It’s important to note that the ad is a tactical one to support the voucher promotion it is currently running offering customers a £5 voucher for every £40 spent, not the start of Tesco’s big new brand campaign.

That said, the 20 second spot, which aired during Channel 4’s Homeland last night (21 October), is a relatively simple concept, but it feels different for Tesco and is a hint of the positioning it may take when it reveals its eagerly anticipated Christmas campaign.

It counts down five pound coins and is set to the iconic Thunderbirds countdown: “five, four, three, two, one…” implying Tesco to the rescue, as the age old theme tune goes.

Tesco could be about to position itself as a saviour, there to rescue families from the plight of shrinking household budgets, low confidence and rising living costs.

Since Tesco announced an overhaul of its brand communications strategy and appointed W+K, there has been speculation that Tesco will ditch the “Every little helps” strapline it has used for 20 years.

The rumours have been quashed, but there’s a subtle change to the way the strapline is presented in this ad, which could suggest the 20 year old line may well get an overhaul.

In the ad’s end frame, the word ‘little’ is replaced by a stack of pound coins. Could Tesco look to replace the central word with a different image in each ad creative dependent on the message?

Whether this shows that the strapline is so well recognised it can replace the words with images and maintain the message, or whether it shows Tesco is moving way from the slogan will all be revealed in a matter of weeks.

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