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By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

January 11, 2019 | 3 min read

Tesco is marking its 100th year in business with a series of playful ads celebrating cultural moments from across the decades as it rolls out 'Prices that Will Take You Back' across stores.

Instead of giving "a history lesson", the brand wanted to evoke nostalgia for its wide range of customers, enlisting what it has described as "cult figures" from across the years to front the push.

This includes a group of mods on mopeds and a 70s 'roller girl' as well as 90s legends Wolf from Gladiators and Mr Blobby (who has been enjoying a recent comeback).

Created by BBH London, the full campaign will span TV, out of home, print, radio, social and digital, with the first TV ad launching on Friday (11 January). The films were shot by Riff Raff Films and are set to the catchy 1978 hit September by Earth, Wind and Fire.

The push launched with a number of double-page spreads in UK newspapers earlier this week to coincide with the retailer rolling back the prices on products from Heinz, PG Tips, Nescafé and more.

The crackdown is already translating into sales for Tesco, which claimed that the second week in January saw shoppers snap up 147,000 tins of beans in an hour and 19.8 million grams of Cathedral City Cheese.

The price-focused on blitz should also help the business take on discount rivals like Lidl and Aldi, which are eating into the market share of the 'big four' grocers.

mr blobby tesco ad

Tesco chief customer officer, Alessandra Bellini, said: “Our customers tell us that they feel the pinch after Christmas and we want to help by offering some great prices on popular products.

"So to celebrate our 100th anniversary, we’ve created the centenary advertising campaign which uses iconic cultural moments from the last 100 years to evoke nostalgia for our customers while also having a great price tag to match.”

Tesco founder Jack Cohen began operating market stalls in London in 1919, christening the brand Tesco five years later in 1924.

BBH's Christmas campaign saw a return of its ‘However you do Christmas, everyone’s welcome’ proposition, which helped the retailer post a 2.2% like-for-like sales increase during the final quarter of 2018.

The work gained substantial media coverage for lauding the diversity of the UK. On the decision to rerun the ad in 2018, Bellini said: “We looked at whether to continue or find a different creative, but we felt really strongly that it worked really well for us last year.”

Tom Drew, creative director at BBH said of the latest work: “To celebrate 100 years of Tesco, we didn’t want to give people a history lesson. Instead, we’re giving them some money back in their pocket, and a smile on their face.”

Of his appearance in the campaign, Mr Blobby said: "Blobby blobby, bloooobby blooobby."

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