This ad was recently run in the UK by supermarket chain Lidl, in response to a price-matching offer by its competitor, Morrisons.
Beautiful, isn’t it?
Effective ads need no explanation – and this one is no exception. Nevertheless, I think it’s worth considering why it is so good.
1. It demonstrates the benefit
The premise of this ad – that shopping at Lidl is both economical and convenient – is not simply stated but actively demonstrated. Merely reading about the process for taking up Morrisons’ price-matching offer (let alone actually going through with it) makes you feel exhausted. This is no accident.
2. It’s a directly competitive ad for a good reason
It’s well known that competitive advertising is fraught with danger, because calling out your competitor runs the risk of giving them free publicity. But as with all the best competitive ads – still exemplified by the classic Avis We try harder campaign – there is a clear strategy behind it here. The competitor’s price-match offer is shown up (and how!) as a weak proposition. What’s more, the advertisers have clearly done their research about exactly why this is so. And even if they have embellished the onerous nature of the process for customers, they have made it plausible enough to be persuasive.
3. It speaks the language of humans
You’ll notice that there is not one mention of ‘innovation’ here. There’s no ‘passion’ either. No ‘commitment’. In fact, there is none of the clichéd, pretentious guff that you see in most ads these days. What’s more – and we’re getting into hen’s teeth territory now – the ad actually has some charm. A bit of understated wit, without descending into that utterly unfunny, self-regarding, hipster-driven nonsense that’s now so prevalent in advertising.
4. Nothing gets in the way of the idea
This ad could so easily have gone pear-shaped. Someone could have insisted on including a banal photo of a smiling supermarket worker, or on reducing the length of the copy, or on making the logo bigger. So while the copywriter should be given a round of applause, the art director and client are equally deserving of credit. The art direction here, while deceptively simple, is superb. And the client has been brave enough not to compromise a strong idea with advertising clichés.
5. It’s a social media success without being a load of ####
This ad has been quite a hit on social media. While not quite ‘trending’, perhaps, it has been widely shared on Twitter in recent days. But unlike some of the so-called responsive advertising that receives plaudits on social media – much of which is inane gimmickry, if you ask me – this is not a ‘social media ad’. With the exception of a highway billboard, perhaps, this ad would work in just about any medium. Indeed, it echoes some of the great print ads of the past.
So in summary, this is a good idea that has been carefully crafted. If it works like a charm (and wins awards), it will be Lidl wonder.
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