Dave Lewis has wasted little time calling in a new advertising agency to help recapture Tesco’s elusive X-factor, even dispensing with the normal process of a pitch for the £145m account.

But he and new agency BBH, the team behind campaigns for the likes of Levi’s, Lynx and… Waitrose, may find it takes somewhat longer to succeed in recapturing Tesco’s lost connection with shoppers.

“No ad magic can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse”

Outgoing agency W+K came in having re-invigorated brands such as Coca-Cola, Honda and Nike. Yet even bringing in the team behind the opening ceremony for London 2012 for Tesco’s Xmas ad could not ignite the flame. Many observers have bemoaned the lack of the broad appeal of past Tesco ads, such as the ‘Dotty’ campaign. 

But times have changed - for marketing and for Tesco. These days a retailer needs a cross-media strategy that goes well behind 30-second slots in Corrie. More to the point, there is no ad magic that can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Only once Lewis gets Tesco’s strategy right will he be able to use his marketing muscle to help bring back the magic.