Tweet about festive hat gave store a star role in TV ad

The green hat at Wigan's tesco
The green hat at Wigan's tesco

EVERY little helps ... from a tweet to a major light extravaganza in Wigan.

Supermarket giant Tesco has released its official Christmas advert which features a huge illuminations-style show filmed at the store in Central Park Way.

The 60-second ad is set to a brass band cover of Irene Cara’s What A Feeling and shows families decorating their homes ahead of a light show finale filmed at Tesco’s Wigan site.

The retailer will be hoping the campaign will give it a much-needed lift after one of the toughest years in its history, what with being squeezed by budget and high-end chains, plunging profits and investigations into its accounting.

The full light experience created by the team responsible for the London 2012 opening ceremony can also be seen on YouTube.

And it all started from a tweet by Orrell resident Claire Hannah.

The 43-year-old posted on Twitter that she was disappointed the Central Park Way store did not have a green festive hat on the Tesco sign.

But instead of just adding the seasonal extra, the supermarket went the extra mile by focusing its Christmas campaign around the idea.

Claire said: “I had noticed a few other stores had the green hat and as a Wigan girl, I was genuinely sad.

“I was utterly surprised that we got the light show. I expected a story in the local paper with a sad face pointing to the Tesco sign and a happy face with the new hat.

“When Tesco got in touch they did not tell me what they were planning. They went to real lengths to track me down.

“I had seen the building work, but had no idea what was going on.

“It was amazing – half the carpark had been cordoned off and there was about 800 people. There were reindeer, a snow globe, a gospel choir and Santa.

“The advert is brilliant – it tells a proper story about the tweet and the light show.

“I love both ads. The TV one shows a family and I love the store being lit up and I love the fact that the Wigan light show is at the end of it.

“But I obviously love the full light show. I was on it, my nephews can be seen and my best friend’s children were also in the crowd. I can see people in the background.”

Almost one million LED lights covered a screen 78m long and 7.2 m high in front of the store for the show.

Tesco’s chief customer officer Jill Easterbrook said: “Christmas is a wonderfully special time of year and we want to help customers in whatever way we can.

“Claire’s experience is just one example of how we’re doing every little thing we can to help make Christmas in fun and helpful ways.”

Ray Shaughnessy, creative director at Wieden + Kennedy London, the agency behind the ad, said: “This year’s campaign is an important step change for Tesco in that they are doing all sorts of unexpected things to help people have a brilliant Christmas.

“It won’t just be about them making sure you get the best turkey on the table, it will be about making sure that people feel Christmassy too.

“Getting the team behind the London 2012 Olympic light show to light up Wigan is a great example of this.”

The ad was screened on television for the first time at 9.15pm on Sunday during the season finale of ITV’s Downton Abbey.

Watch the amazing video here