We’ve already shared our rundown of the best Christmas ads this year. But there is one major retailer that has saved possibly the best for last. Tesco released its festive campaign over the weekend, celebrating the nation’s spirit of joyful defiance and determination to have a good time this year “no matter what happens”.

Backed by the rousing soundtrack of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, the spot by BBH looks at all the ways we’ll continue to enjoy Christmas despite what might happen, whether it’s a broken-down car, Covid travel restrictions, or a stubborn Elf.

The ad opens outside a Tesco store with a woman who is determined that nothing will stop her from enjoying Christmas dinner with her family, and follows her as she embarks on her journey home after being offered “a little help” by a Tesco worker. We then move to other festive moments, like the office Christmas party and seeing how the fun continues when the lights go out or carolling in the street with friends. But we also see the hurdles Tesco’s own staff might face when delivering our shopping, like a mountain of stairs to climb to reach us in a top-floor apartment.

The idea for the campaign by BBH is based on Tesco’s research showing that 86% of UK adults admit that nothing will stop them from having a joyful Christmas this year. “Whether you are cautiously re-entering the world or diving right back in, Tesco shows that it is here to help release that much-missed Christmas joy,” says the London agency.

Alessandra Bellini from Tesco says: “We know that Christmas is a hugely important time for many of our customers and, after last year’s events, that is truer now than ever. Whenever we set out to create our campaigns, we want to be sure that we capture how the nation really feel and reflect that. Our research revealed that people are looking forward to meaningful get-togethers with their loved ones again and given the backdrop of cancelled plans of last year they won’t let anything stop them from having a proper celebration this year.

“This got us thinking about all the little things that have the potential to get in our way – from running out of mince pies to running late to a Christmas party – and the nation’s determined spirit that ensures we’ll overcome them all. We hope our joyful festive ad will resonate and put a smile on people’s faces as we prepare for a season of well-deserved celebrations. After all, this Christmas, nothing’s stopping us.”

Created by BBH Creative Directors Christine Turner and Kevin Masters, and directed by Si and Ad from Academy Films, it’s a true tearjerker (well, it was for me) and reminds us of why the spirit of Christmas is so special. “After the last one, this Christmas had to be a cracker, so our campaign is a rallying cry to show we’re made of harder stuff this year, and nothing’s stopping us,” says Christine and Kevin. “And who better to show this than our scooting gran weaving her way through a joyfully defiant nation as they tackle anything thrown at them.”

BBH worked in partnership with Mediacom, to produce a fully integrated through-the-line campaign. The TV ad comes in 90-second, 60-second and two 30-second versions. As well as TV, the campaign includes press, OOH, radio, social, in-store and PR, it launched on Saturday to much welcome applause.

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