Tesco's All About the Weird Christmas Transformations

Dad turns into a tree—but that's just the start

It's beginning to look a lot like dad's a Christmas tree. He's sprouting pine needles, ornaments, festive lights and, ultimately, a star on top.

Will his teenage son—acting like a little scrooge—join in the seasonal shenanigans?

We all know the answer. But Tesco's goofy holiday advert from BBH London doesn't end there...

It's the most transformative time of the year! The spot resonates because we all know folks who morph into Xmas characters (in spirit, anyway). That image of doofus dad as Douglas fir is so darn goofy. It sticks in the mind, like "Jingle Bells" on an endless loop.

Actually, OMC's poppy "How Bizarre" plays on the soundtrack. That's a fine choice, upbeat and bright, but not some cliched yuletide retread.

The whole scenario's a tad bizarre, but in a good way. As opposed to, say, the ferocious foliage in John Lewis' unsettling horror-comedy. Tesco's surreal approach most resembles Coca-Cola's city of Santas, turning tinsely tropes on their heads.

"We wanted to make a truly joyous ad that hopefully made people laugh," BBH deputy executive creative director Felipe Guimaraes tells Muse. "However, we were aware that nothing would land unless we had a real truth, a real insight that connected with people."

"We all loved the insight that people get into Christmas at different paces," he says. "Some go full baubles the minute Halloween decorations come down. Others wait to have that fuzzy feeling an hour before they sit down for their Xmas dinner. Having said that, eventually, the Christmas spirit gets all of us."

"We wanted to make it all with costumes and use as little CGI as possible. We wanted it to feel real and tangible. Push that magic too far and people won't connect."

Without camera tricks to carry the day, the crew labored over even the smallest real-world detail.

For example, "Just before we started shooting, we were looking at tree dads decorations, deciding whether a felt gingerbread ornament was more in keeping with his personality than a novelty poodle one," Guimaraes recalls. "In the end, we decided to keep both and you can see them front and centre when he opens the door and his lights turn on."

The understated direction of Iconoclast duo Alaska (Marco Lafer and Gustavo Moraes) frames the weirdness just right. Tesco unleashed tree-dad over the weekend on ITV during I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.


Client: Tesco 
Campaign name: "Become More Christmas"

Client Credits
Group Customer Director: Emma Botton
Group Marketing Communications Director: Murray Bisschop
Head of Seasonal Campaigns: Alicia Southgate
Head of Media & Campaign Planning: Tom Mardon
Campaign Manager: Simon Boiko
Seasonal Media Manager: Sophie O’Sullivan
Campaign Assistant: James Johnson 

Agency credits
Creative Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty London
Global Chief Creative Officer: Alex Grieve 
Deputy Executive Creative Director: Felipe Guimaraes
Creative Director: Felipe Guimaraes
Senior Copywriter: Elliott White
Senior Art Director: Wil Maxey
Group Strategy Director: Saskia Jones
Strategy Director: Hannah Slapper
Senior Strategist: Tom Papaloizou
Senior Producer: Lisa Nicholls
Senior Producer: Nicole Southey
Assistant Producer: Valentina Schwendinger
Art Producer: Julian Cave
Managing Partner: James Rice 
Business Lead: Tori Meadows
Account Director:  Owen Keating, Celia Taylor 
Account Manager: Georgina Thompson 
Account Executive: Talia Morrow  
BBH Dublin: Amy Crowe + Amy Harrington 
Music Supervisor: Hywel Evans and Daniel Olaifa 

Production Company: Iconoclast
Director: Alaska (Marco Lafer and Gustavo Moraes)
Executive Producer: Jean Mougin
Line Producer: Emma Butterworth 
Production Manager: Natalie Isaac
Production Designer: Arthur De Borman
Costumes: Anarchy Ltd.
Prosthetics Make Up: Freddie Stopler
DOP: Pierre De Kerchove

Edit House: Trim Editing
Editor: Paul Hardcastle
Assistant Editor: Josh Mannox

Post House: Black Kite Studios
VFX Supervisor: Alex Lovejoy
Colourist: Tom Mangham
3D lead: James Hansell
Compositing Lead: George Brunt
Executive Producer: Paul Branch
Senior Producer: Phil Whalley
Sound House: 750MPH
Sound Engineer: Sam Ashwell

Media agency: Essencemediacom 
Senior Associate Director: Harry Pearce
Account Director: Eliz Ustusoy

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