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Tesco celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new series of short films

Retail giant Tesco celebrates its 100th birthday this year, and to toast its centenary its produced a series of short films tracing the supermarket’s origins from market stall to its multi-storey megastores that run up and down the UK.

Launched alongside a new print campaign, which trumpets the brand’s “100 Years of Great Value” tagline with a series of retro-referencing ads celebrating prices that’ll “take you back”, the short films explore everything from World War II rationing to Sir Save-A-Lot, an armoured price-slasher who seemed to be absolutely determined to keep pennies in customer’s pockets. Every little helps, of course…

Arguably the most intriguing of the lot involves tea. Lots of tea. Back in the day, Jack Cohen – the supermarket’s founder – bought tea in bulk from a trader named TE Stockwell. Having packaged TE’s tea into bags, Jack needed a name. So, we assume at least, he sat down with a steaming mug of chai, felt the synapses whir at a million miles a second, and it hit him: TE S + CO = Tesco.

If you knew that already, then very well done. We didn’t and our lives feel infinitely richer for now being in possession of the sort of knowledge that separates the wheat from the chaff at the Wednesday night pub quiz.

Tesco has worked with creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty for the print campaign, which is running across various UK newspapers today, 7 January 2019.