Tesco is ramping up the festive cheer in its 2014 Christmas TV ad with a light show created by a team that worked on the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

The 60-second ad – which features the strapline ‘Every Little Helps Make Christmas’ - will debut tonight (Sunday 9 November) at 9.15 during the season finale of ITV’s Downton Abbey.

Advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy described the ad as a “step change” for Tesco.

“Tesco is doing all sorts of unexpected things to help people have a brilliant Christmas,” said creative director Ray Shaughnessy. “It won’t just be about them making sure you get the best turkey on the table, it will be about making sure people feel Christmassy too.”

The ad features a brass band cover of Irene Cara’s What a Feeling and shows customers going to great lengths to prepare for the festive season with help from Tesco staff. It depicts a father rummaging around the attic looking for boxes of decorations from the previous Christmas and other families gathering to decorate their homes while colleagues in store prepare. The ad builds to the moment when Christmas lights are switched on in households and Tesco stores across the country.

A light show featured in the ad was inspired by Tesco customer Claire Hannah, who last year tweeted her disappointment that her local store’s signage did not have a green hat.

In response, Tesco created a winter wonderland at the store for the advert, and filmed Hannah and more than 800 local residents enjoying the festivities. The event, which culminated with the green hat being placed on the store, was created by the people behind the light show at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony and features nearly one million LED lights.

The green hat will appear on over 700 Tesco stores across the country, more than ever before, said the retailer.

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