Tesco Christmas Grottos
In store
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The challenge

Our brief was to create a magical Grotto experience and provide a moment of joy in these difficult times. The activation had to:

Allow anyone, anywhere, to experience the magic of a visit to Santa, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Enable those who want to provide their children with a magical experience to celebrate the start of the festive season.

Allow families across the UK to share a memorable Christmas moment with their little ones no matter their financial circumstances

Insight & Strategy

The cost-of-living crisis had a profound impact on many families in 2023. In response to this, Tesco wanted to give all its customers a reason to find joy in these hard times.

So we sat down with our elves to whip up something magical. We knew we needed an experience we could deliver to the whole nation – something accessible, inclusive and bursting with Christmas joy. And most importantly, FREE.

And thus, the Tesco Christmas Grottos were born. Our strategy focused on creating a festive event that rivalled any paying Grotto so that anyone, anywhere, could experience the magic of a visit to Santa, regardless of their financial circumstances.  

Although Tesco paid for the experience, there wasn’t an ROI sales focus, as the main aim was to boost brand love and give back to the community. The Grottos were devised purely to bring joy and happiness to Tesco customers during uncertain times.

Activation

A beautifully designed booking site went live in early November 2023, announcing to shoppers that they could book their families to a magical Grotto to meet Santa Claus himself. To fully personalise the experience, they were invited to provide information such as their favourite school subject, increasing the magic factor on the day.  

The festive Grottos popped up in Tesco stores and car parks nationwide. Adorned with garlands and sparkling Christmas trees, a rustic wooden door concealed the magic of the elves' workshop inside.

The elves greeted them, welcoming them in lyrical rhyme, offering tasty mince pies and chocolate treats while waiting to see Santa. The children wrote (or drew) letters to Santa, before meeting the big man himself. With their newly posted letters, Santa chatted to the families about their Christmas wishes, making their experience truly magical.

Every child got to snap a photo with Santa, which was available to download before Santa presented everyone with an age-appropriate gift.

Results

86

Net promoter score

21,500

+ families visited Santa

89,000

+ people visited the grotto