There's a game they play in Richard Osman's 'House of Games' where the contestants have to listen to the start of a well-known pop song and then, after it is silenced, anticipate the moment when the singing starts. Often, as soon as the first person hits their button, the others swiftly follow. But, every now and again, someone holds their nerve and delays pressing the button in anticipation that the intro repeats itself before the vocal comes in.
While almost every other Christmas advertiser 'pressed their buzzer' the week before last, Tesco has held their nerve and delayed the launch of their seasonal advert. Who knows whether or not this will gain them an advantage, but it's certainly a point of difference in a year when the other releases were largely compressed into a single week.
So what of the commercial itself? It leans into a familiar Christmas trope... that of someone who just isn't feeling it this year. In some sense, this is a character designed to represent anyone who feels the seasonal frivolity is a bit forced, but as the personification of this idea is almost always attached to a sullen teenager, there's an erosion of the universality.
In this iteration, feeling Christmassy is represented pretty literally. As 'Dad' gets into the Yuletide spirit, he becomes a Christmas tree. Other characters are similarly rendered as they succumb to the joy of Christmas. It's like a zombie movie for the Peppa Pig generation.
The success of this idea was hugely reliant on directors Alaska coaxing every drop of charm from the script. With some great assistance from production designer Arthur de Borman, they have made it work, and they have avoided the trap of making it too schmaltzy.
So, does the recalcitrant teen eventually find himself browbeaten into the joy of Christmas? Of course he does.
Product Category: Supermarkets