Crowd-sourcing our 'Most Forgotten' items at Christmas

Rick Coombs
Rick Coombs (former) Planning Director

How we used Facebook to crowd-source a list of ‘most forgotten’ items ahead of Christmas and displayed them using out-of-home, social and print.   


With its ‘Every Little Helps’ strategy, Tesco has made a name for itself for supporting UK shoppers. One way the retailer ‘helps’ is through late-night openings – and at no time is this more valuable than at Christmas, when stress levels are high and everything has to be perfect.

Our challenge was to establish Tesco as ‘Santa’s Little Helper’ – the retailer that was open late, and understood its customers’ needs at Christmas time.

In the busy run up to Christmas, there’s always something we’ve forgotten. And it’s enough to send us into panic mode. We wanted to delve deeper into this insight, and use our findings to fuel a multi-platform campaign.


Using our bespoke social monitoring tool Prophesee, we looked at the social conversations Tesco customers were having around Christmas, and identified ‘shopping’ threads that talked about what kind of items were most important to them, but often forgotten.

Then, we used clever crowd-sourcing tactics across Facebook to get to the real nitty-gritty of it and come up with a list of ‘most forgotten’ items. 

Tesco’s one million Facebook fans gave us an excellent customer base, so we used a combination of Facebook Ads and page posts to ask them directly what their most forgotten items are at Christmas. Thousands responded, and came up with an exhaustive list, including:

  • The essentials; bread, milk, loo roll (easily forgotten in the Christmas mania)
  • The little bit of the recipe you missed (e.g. that bacon to cover the turkey)
  • The wrapping paper that you always run out of before the Big Day
  • The batteries for the kids presents (nobody wants to see that disappointed look when the new toy doesn’t work)

We analysed all the responses, and came up with a Top Ten list. These rich insights were then used to power a national multi-media campaign based on a simple idea: Christmas’s ‘Most Forgotten’ items.


With the customers now powering the media, we acted quickly and broadcast the ‘most forgotten’ items nationwide, pushing out the crowd-sourced content across paid and owned channels – TV, Print, Outdoor and Social. Everything was timed to perfection, so we’d reach customers in the middle of their last-minute shop, and put Tesco front of mind. 

Smartphones are used as a primary shopping companion (85% of people use them on the go), so mobile was also crucial. Capitalising on its ability to target by location, we employed geo-targeted messaging within a half a mile of all Tesco Express stores, reminding people of Tesco’s late-night opening hours when they were nearby.

And, in a UK media-first, we integrated the ‘Most Forgotten’ list into customers’ smartphone calendars, so they’d get helpful reminders in the run up to Christmas Day. What could be more helpful than that?

By putting the power in the hands of the customer, and using clever insights to fuel an entire campaign, we gave millions of people peace of mind at Christmas – positioning Tesco as a retailer that truly understands and helps its customers.

  • Our insight-sourcing post reached over 4.5 million customers
  • We received 5,719 Comments, which fuelled our national campaign
  • 26,785 users clicking through to the mobile landing page
  • 62,000 SMS messages were delivered within the Geo-fenced areas
  • This campaign alone increased Tesco’s market share by 1.8%