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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

'How-to' use Search with Social to Win Christmas

Entered in Multi-Platform Campaign


Tesco is a multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer. They have 148 stores in Ireland and they also sell groceries online.

2017 was a challenging year for Tesco. Reduced budgets saw the retailer fall back on a repeat of their 2016 Christmas creative, the re-use of TV ads, a reduced press budget and the closure of its traditional Christmas print magazine. Digital was going to have some heavy lifting to do!

2016's Christmas campaign led with the tagline, 'To The Hosts' and presented as recognition and celebration of all the hosts and the care and effort they pour into hosting Christmas Day for their loved ones. The campaign proved popular, but our in-depth post campaign analysis pointed towards one aspect in particular that would drive the entire 2017 marketing campaign - helpfulness. In a welcome call back to Tesco's forgotten mission, 'Every Little Helps, Christmas 2017 committed to 'Helping Hosts Create Magic'

The objectives were:

- 2.8% year on year sales growth

- Sell 10,000 more turkeys (or equivalent revenue value) in stores

Strategy and Execution

The Strategy Started with a data driven insight:

Search and 'The Rhythm of Christmas'

Using the Keyword planner we identified search trends of the customer around Christmas. We could see that 'How-to' Google Searches spike every year in Nov&Dec. Digging deeper, keyword research revealed a 'rhythm-of-Christmas' beginning with queries related to crafts&decorations, flowing into baking.

By uncovering these insights, we were able to establish order and create a content calendar that would provide help to hosts when it mattered

Now comes the magic we believe to be a world first.

- Hero Innovation!

Our approach to cross-channel campaigns allow us to seamlessly and sequentially market to a person across social and search, building a message with each interaction as if those channels were one.

We could serve a person an informational ad on Pinterest, then target that person on Instagram or Facebook with the next version of the creative and then YouTube with a further iteration before capturing them on Search with a commercial message. This strategy allows us to deliver a seamless personalised advertising experience to shoppers across all their favourite media.

Combined with the objective to provide timely and relevant help, this cross-channel could have been experienced as a nuisance, was in fact, warmly welcomed

Cross-Channel Tactics in Detail

Sample Full Funnel Strategy

Awareness: Sees Pinterest infographic detailing 'How-To-Cook-A-Turkey'

Interest: Sees Facebook video showcasing Tesco's Organic Turkey Suppliers

Consideration: Googles 'turkey-sides', sees search ad for recipes

Action: Sees 'Pre-Order your turkey' ad with CTA on Instagram Stories or on Paid Search

Cross-Channel Audience Collection

Meticulous UTM tagging allowed us to collect and share audiences between platforms, e.g.

-Collect Social Audiences in Analytics&remarket to them on search

- Collect Pinterest&Twitter Audiences in Facebook

- Collect Display&Search Audiences in Facebook

- Collect people who clicked on their marketing emails as an audience and remarket to them on Facebook.

Innovative Ad Formats

On top of unique audience collection tactics, we enhanced the user experience by using the most-up-to-date ad formats

-Collection&Canvas Ads(Facebook)

- Stories&Messenger Chatbot Ads (Facebook)

- Promoted Pins (Pinterest, first in Ireland to use these)

Respecting&Understanding Emotion

We split-tested emotional copy(spend time with family) VS functional copy(save money). Returning customers favoured the emotional ad. We used Adwords innovation (IF functions) to ensure each customer type saw its preferred ad format. A first for Tesco who were accustomed to communicating one message to the entire country!

Stealing from the Competition

We created search campaigns targeting competitor's keywords such as "Supervalu login". Anyone who clicked Tesco's cheeky ad were entered into our cross-channel campaign audience at the Awareness stage and would be nurtured to switch their allegiance to Tesco through multiple touch-points.


Headline Results

Full-Price Turkeys

A conscious drive for turkey pre-orders meant that Tesco sold more turkeys at full-price than ever before. This meant that we achieved the revenue target (the equivalent of 10,000 extra turkeys), by the time we sold 9,000 extra. Online turkey pre-orders increased 29% YoY.

Power of Cross-Channel Campaigns

From Sentiment Analysis to Sentiment Creation

Having developed our own social sentiment analysis tool, we identified locations where sentiment towards Tesco was poor. We made a conscious effort to up-weight the sharing of helpful content over sales-driven ads in these areas to carefully nurture sentiment. Consumer Sentiment increased 10% YoY, laying to rest any concerns that our cross-channel tactics could lead to overexposure and negativity.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Wolfgang Digital, Tesco Ireland


Entry Credits