Cannes Lions

Food Love Stories

MEDIACOM, London / TESCO / 2019

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In 2015, Tesco found itself pressured from all sides: the expansion of the German discounters; a change in shopping behaviour away from the one-stop big shop; and new tech players in Food offering customers new options. The net impact left Tesco with a huge marketing challenge of convincing shoppers to actively choose – not just use – Tesco again.

The key objective was to tackle the key driver of store choice (quality), as it was the biggest driver of supermarket choice but also Tesco’s lowest brand attribute. Tesco’s food quality scores outperformed the “Big Six” in blind taste tests, suggesting a decline in quality was a reputation perception issue. We needed to tackle this (mis)interpretation head on, using communications to change people’s perceptions and reminding the nation of Tesco’s passion for food.

While other supermarkets focused on food provenance, Tesco focused on their customers. They sought to connect with the nation through emotive storytelling and the relationship people have with mealtimes. ‘Food Love Stories’ (FLS) was born to celebrate ‘the food you love to cook, for the people you love’. Moving into 2018, these personal stories were complemented with stories that demonstrated the care that Tesco takes to provide the best high-quality food for their customers.

In ‘Food Love Stories’, we created a fully integrated brand platform that celebrated the food we love to make, for the people we love, and demonstrated through stories the care that Tesco takes in producing high quality food, telling stories across all of our paid, owned and earned channels.

The execution principles enabled a huge body of stories to be created and rolled out across the two years:

1. Insightful and inspiring meal recipes

2. People enjoying food they love

3. Warm, empathetic, emotional brand world - with a smile

4. Total through-the-line integration around the meal

5. Confident and central branding

The stories were delivered through all media channels. TV carried multiple hero executions, outdoor added more variety and was localised to areas where quality perception suffered the greatest, while digital and social allowed us to personalise depending on an individual’s relationship with food. Tesco’s vast owned media assets were utilised to bring more depth, tips and tricks. The Stores brought the ingredients together for customers to make.

FLS is one of the powerful levers which has helped Tesco achieve 13 consecutive quarters of growth, driving £980m of new revenue (53% of the media driven total, despite being only 41% of total spend). Since 2017, Tesco’s quality perceptions have increased by 41% to 26.6, and closing the gap with competitors by 5ppt (-7.1% to -2.1%). 58% of this improvement in quality can be attributed to ‘Food Love Stories’.

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