A change is as good as a repeat in the supermarket Christmas ad run

Stephan Shakespeare
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“Aldi’s decision to opt for familiarity has obviously worked in terms of cut-through” (Source: Getty)

Retailers are continuing to battle for ad supremacy as we approach Christmas, but which brands in the supermarket sector have been most successful in grabbing viewers’ attention?

YouGov brand tracking data indicates that Aldi currently has the highest level of Ad Awareness (whether someone has seen or hear an advert for a brand in the past two weeks) among the brands in the supermarket sector.

Once again, Aldi has opted to feature its ‘Kevin the Carrot’ character, which also appeared in its 2016 and 2017 Christmas campaigns. This time around Kevin finds himself in a medieval battle with ‘Pascal the Parnsip’. Other ads in the campaign feature Kevin re-telling fairy-tales.

Aldi’s Ad Awareness score has grown by eight points, from 24 per cent to 32 per cent since the campaign’s release – meaning it tops the supermarket rankings on this metric.

Tesco is currently the best of the big four supermarkets in terms of Ad Awareness score with a rating of 31, though its uptick in score is less pronounced than Aldi’s.

Notably, Iceland – the brand with only 2.1 per cent market share – sits alongside Tesco in second. I mentioned in a previous column that Iceland has successfully harnessed the power of ad virality, following its campaign’s television ban. It has seen its score improve the most of all the supermarkets, up from 15 per cent to 31 per cent, a rise of 16 points.

Iceland also has the second highest word of mouth exposure score (whether someone has talked about a brand with a friend, family member or colleague), with a current rating of 16 per cent. Once again, on this metric Aldi comes out on top with a score of 22 per cent.

Aldi’s decision to opt for familiarity has obviously worked in terms of cut-through, crucial at a time when it will be looking to eat even further into established rivals’ market share.

Elsewhere, we’re starting to see the industry giants shift away from the ‘Christmas Epic’ ad campaigns that have characterised festive periods in the past. Iceland’s has differentiated its brand from its rivals, which may be a sign of things to come.