Tesco throws out Santa's naughty list in Christmas ad with Britney Spears track

Work by BBH encourages people to indulge and have fun at the end of a tough year.

Tesco ditches Santa’s naughty list in a Christmas campaign encouraging people to enjoy themselves at the end of a tough year. 

The ad, by Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, shows members of the British public confessing the “naughty” acts they have committed during 2020, such as bad video-call etiquette and buying too much loo roll. 

However, the retailer reassures people that the “naughty list” does not apply this year and they should kick back and enjoy the season by indulging in Tesco’s festive treats. 

The soundtrack is Britney Spears’ Oops!...I Did It Again, while comedian Asim Chaudhry provides the voiceover.

The TV ad will break on Saturday (14 November) at 9:40pm during ITV’s The Voice. The campaign will also include press, out-of-home, radio, social, in-store and PR.

It was created by Daniel Seager and Steve Hall, and directed by Raine Allen-Miller through Somesuch. MediaCom is the media agency.

Alessandra Bellini, chief customer officer at Tesco, said it was more important than ever this year for the supermarket to provide some light relief through its Christmas campaign. 

“We thought, why don’t we help people recognise this has been an unusual year and bring the joy through that?” she said.

“This is not just a campaign about making people laugh. We felt that the idea of looking at little imperfections would go well with the idea of abundance and choices for our customers. It’s a good platform to showcase the offer from Tesco and once again show the breadth of the country.”

The retailer’s message of joy may feel particularly resonant to people as many became increasingly reliant on supermarkets during the pandemic. 

Tesco reported a 6.4% surge in UK supermarket profits in the first half of this year, and the festive season – coming in the middle of England’s second lockdown – will be a key trading period. 

"This is a difficult year," Bellini continued. "It’s not one we’d look at as an opportunity for anything, but as we faced in to the challenges we were very clear we wanted to focus on four big priorities: First, to guarantee that people would have food they wanted and needed. 

"Second, to make sure everyone felt as safe as possible. Third, to protect our colleagues, especially those who are at the front line in stores. And fourth, be a really important pillar of the community.

"We still see this as a challenge and a crisis, but I’m glad how we managed together as an industry – all of the supermarkets – to bring out the very best we could do to help customers."

Alongside its Christmas ad, Tesco is continuing its partnership with the charities Trussell Trust and FareShare. Last year during its Christmas collection, the supermarket collected three million meals and it aims to match this in 2020, topping up customer donations by 20%. 

Starting on Monday (16 November), Tesco will give any of the 500,000 families who use weekly Healthy Start vouchers – a government scheme to improve the health of low-income pregnant women and families on benefits and tax credits – a £1 coupon to spend on fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables. Each time a Tesco customer uses their vouchers at the checkout, they will automatically receive the money-off coupon to redeem off their next shop. 

Since 2013, Tesco customers have donated more than 76 million meals to Trussell Trust and FareShare during the supermarket’s seasonal food collections and at permanent collections points in stores.

Tom Drew, creative director at BBH, added: “Who on earth would be on the naughty list after the year we’ve had? Hopefully we’ve made something to make people smile at a time when we need it most.”