Tesco's first new ad features 'Dave' who secretly adds yoghurt to his curry

Tesco has launched a major new advertising campaign to try to win customers’ hearts by stressing the quality of its food.

‘Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco’ will introduce a series of food tales throughout the year, based on recipes that tie in with the current season.

“We’ve always taken great pride in the quality of our food and we know how good food brings people and families together”

Kicking off with ‘David’s hot or not chicken curry’ today (9 January) – a tale Tesco says reflects the fact that most people are craving comforting family food rather than detoxing in January – the campaign will feature prime time ads and heavyweight in-store backing.

Ruth Jones stays

The new campaign won’t mean the end for Tesco’s much-maligned ads starring Gavin and Stacey’s Ruth Jones. Her comedy “family” would appear in ads later in the year, it said.

However, the launch – which comes ahead of a crucial set of results for the Christmas trading period on Thursday – does mark a significant change in tack for Tesco in attempting to put food quality and the “passion and care” that goes into making meals at the forefront of its marketing.

The stories would aim to capture the mind-set of its customers throughout the year, from wholesome, hearty meals in January, to fresh, vibrant meals in summer, said Tesco.

First ad airs tonight

The first ad, which airs on TV and digital media today, shows ‘David’s’ story, who for 15 years has been hiding the fact he doesn’t really like ‘hot curry’ like his wife, and cheats by adding a touch of yoghurt without her knowing. It will have spots in Coronation Street, Emmerdale and The Undateables. Like the previous campaign, the ads were put together by Tesco’s creative agency BBH and media agency MediaCom.

Six other food love stories will feature across outdoor, radio, social, and digital media throughout January: Iain’s ‘proper’ croque monsieur, Henry’s ‘being good tonight’ falafel, Sunita’s ‘secret veg’ meatballs, Lisa’s ‘big Greek’ stew, Jini’s ‘make it better’ jambalaya and Elena’s ‘cheeky tortilla’ quiche.

Tesco said it would have advertising activity in all its stores, with larger stores also carrying ingredients and recipe cards for each featured meal, which would also be available on Tesco.com.

“We’ve always taken great pride in the quality of our food and we know how good food brings people and families together,” said Michelle McEttrick, group brand director at Tesco.

“‘Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco’ puts food at the very heart of our business and tells the stories behind the meals we all make for those closest to us.”

“We’re passionate about our food and we work closely with our producers and growers to continually improve the quality and taste of the food we offer,” added chief product officer Jason Tarry. “Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco’, puts our fantastic food centre stage and we hope to inspire our customers with delicious meals whatever the occasion.”