This festive season, giganto-retailer Tesco has aired their Christmas campaign advert with the tagline of “Everyone’s Welcome”. And for once, I don’t hate the campaign, or Tesco themselves.
Let me preface this by saying I do my regular food shop at Tesco – I’m chronically ill, and housebound a lot; Tesco is my closest supermarket (a 10minute walk on a good day), and we subscribe to their delivery saver deal; I appreciate clubcard points; and my local supermarket isn’t actually giant, so I can get round it easily.
This is not to say I agree with everything Tesco does, or that I wouldn’t rather shop elsewhere if I could afford it/it was convenient/I was sure of price vs quality. Big supermarket practices, squeezing suppliers and leaving them earning less than living wage – I’ve read many horror stories. I also know that the point of advertising campaigns is to get more customers through the doors/on the website, spending more money, and getting them hooked into repeat business. I knowwww.
But right now, I want to focus on their Christmas campaign. I still have my morals, and actually I think their 2017 winter tagline aligns with that.
Over the last month, I’ve read multiple articles and tweets from people getting really radgey (northern slang) about seeing the TV advert with “a Muslim family RAGE RAGE” etc. People are threatening to boycott the supermarket (fine by me, fewer bigots in the store when I go tbh) and getting angry that a Muslin family DARE TO EAT FOOD AT CHRISTMAS! The horror!
The message is so simple and so kind, almost humble. Their not dictating how Christmas should be – other stores with slogans like “Make it sparkle!”, “Make it magic!”, M&S’s campaign with Paddington Bear – these are all projecting how big retailers are pushing us to have the Christmas they envisage.
Tesco’s campaign (I’m trying to find out if they used an ad agency, so I can send positive vibes to them) is about taking everyday people and saying “Hey, however you want to spend the ~festive period~ is cool, you’re welcome”. Whether you’re nuclear families getting together, extended families where you forget peoples names because there are so many of you, families that are made up of friends, whether you spend it with 1 person, 100 people, or no people, you can do what suits you.
There is no one-size-fits-all Christmas, the TV advert shows us that. Of course, there are stereotypical elements, because us Brits f*cking love to ham that up (the “not having enough seats at the dinner table”, the “Auntie Jean got me crap socks”, or the “Uncle Bob having too many sherries and falling asleep on the sofa during the Queens speech”) but as a campaign, it’s not forcing you to have a Christmas like that.
It’s about finding what works for you, and your situation, because what other people do – it’s none of our business. So Muslims, vegans, boycotters – remember it’s the season of goodwill, and just let up on the people-bashing for a minute, yeah?