Tesco bans Santa’s naughty list for 2020

Pandemics are no laughing matter, as we know all too well. Yet Tesco has managed to eke out the funny side of 2020 for its Christmas ad, which also sees Santa’s naughty list binned

Timing is everything in comedy. If Tesco had released this ad in the summer, the chances are the supermarket would have been condemned for a lack of taste. Yet roll forwards six months and we’re all desperate to find a way to laugh about the awful year it’s been.

Unexpectedly for a brand that normally plays it pretty safe, Tesco provides an answer in its Christmas ad, by taking a gentle swipe at the various ways we might have ended up on Santa’s naughty list this year: by buying too many toilet rolls, for example, or by not singing Happy Birthday when we washed our hands.

Happily, according to Tesco, Santa is taking a year off from the list this year, meaning we can have all the treats we like for Christmas. The result is a witty and refreshing spot from Tesco, and a candid take on what has been a terrible year, without resorting to being schmaltzy.

Agency: BBH London
Creatives: Daniel Seager, Steve Hall
Creative director: Tom Drew
Head of art: Uche Ezugwu
Production company: Somesuch
Director: Raine Allen-Miller