LIDL – A web campaign that merges value and values

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A consumer’s journey with a brand

Ever since I latched on to the Firebrand (RIP) site, I have been interested in the concept of advertising as content, beyond merely being a reflection of contemporary society. Ads that have content have meaning and create conversations. They can become viral, for example, because they transmit values to which people adhere or humour that bring true cheer. Content-filled ads are rather rare, as marketers are reluctant to step away from the classic advertising ways; and, yet, in today’s environment, I believe that creating meaningful ads should be on the top of marketers’ priorities — at least for those up and comers wishing to make waves, make a difference and make a buck. Arguably, all brands with at least a little attitude or a semblance of community, should be looking to make their message meaningful.

The brand’s marketing [advertising] message is one thing; but, the in-store “live” feeling is another. There is a lot of work to be done for a brand to connect its advertising message with that in store feeling down the line. In today’s economically depressed and evermore time-compressed conditions — not to mention the paroxysm of information and misinformation that besiege the consumer — there is a need to rethink the shopping experience. And, whether it is the high street independent, the department store or the supermarket, the shopping experience is in need of a significant [r]evolution. Consumers are no longer willing to put up with the deluge of confusing messages, lost time and wasted packaging.

LIDL LogoHere is a wonderful return-to-values and bring-me-emotion campaign by the German discount supermarket chain, LIDL (with stores in 17 countries, including major presences in UK, France & Holland…). I add a Wikipedia write-up here on LIDL. This web-based 1’31 ad (below) associates fundamental, daily emotions with basic (and cheap) accoutrements that you can find at LIDL. It is perhaps a more practical take on MasterCard’s Priceless campaign. Of course, I now need to see how this translates in the LIDL in-store situation.

For such a great creation, I was surprised to see that it only has 39K views (since its October 2008 posting). Perhaps, that is because it is only in German. In any event, I think you can get the gist from the euro figures…and the English lyrics to the accompanying song.

What are your thoughts? Please drop me a line!

UPDATED on 2nd June, 2009: Since there was a decision (I assume by Lidl) to shut down access to this ad above, I have re-added a different link to the YouTube ad from LIDL. In any event, if they do the same thing again, I add the link here:

UPDATED on 19th April, 2011: This last ad was also taken down.  I guess LIDL don’t want their ads on line — or at least certainly not on YouTube?

7 Comments, RSS

  1. Rodrigo

    Not sure what is unique about the Lidl ad. Personally, I’d even say it’s quite mundane (perhaps explaining the mystery of the low viewing figures).

    I’m no expert in ads but I feel comfortable claiming that the “story telling” type of ad (to be distinguished from the “buy now” (eg, sofas, iPhone) , “comedy” (eg, Budweiser “wassup”, Cadbury’s recent series) and “wow” (eg, Coke) types) is rather common. Maybe you could sit through ad breaks and calculate the market shares.

    Any Hovis campaign knocks the socks off this
    YouTube – Hovis – Bike Ride (directed by Ridley Scott)
    ..even the latest, overly produced one, is stunning.
    YouTube – New Hovis Advert In Full HD Stereo – Sept 2008

    Other ones I can remember include VW, Stella Artois, Ariel (or was it Bold?!).

  2. Michelle Sullivan

    Being only bilingual, I’m afraid I need confirmation of concept: that the prices listed on the screen were the cost of the individual items featured (shaving cream, pickles, champagne). If so, I’m thinking that unless these prices remain relatively stable, the ‘shelf life’ of this commercial is probably pretty short. Which makes it that much more interesting in the sense that the chain would have invested heavily in the production, relative to the traditional ‘Pickles this week at 2,29$’ commercials we’re used to seeing.

    @Rodrigo – perhaps you’re not the target audience – I can see women reacting more favourably to the concept and, presuming German women have the same decision-making/buying power as North American women, the strategy could pay dividends for Lidl.

    Of course, you should keep in mind that I’m obviously very North-American centric in my thinking – the proof is that it surprised me to see suburban Germans BBQ-ing 😉

  3. Minter

    @Rodrigo, for me the uniqueness comes from the timing of this message in the current conditions: needing value and values. My belief is that the vast majority of the ads … around the world … remain decidedly mundane and “classical”… I am going to hazard a guess that you just retain the “good ones”!

    @Michelle, thanks for joining in. Yes, the prices indicated were for the little grocery item in the midst of the scene. Personally, I was touched by the good spirit, well played humour.

    I attach the links to the twp YouTube ads that Rodrigo cites:

    Ridley Scott’s Hovis (0’46):

    Hovis Full HD (2’02)

    They are both worth watching too!

  4. mgoitein

    Reading Minter’s introduction, and watching the ad, I think the point comes back again to advertising as content, and not to take the ad too literally, but to understand the spirit of it. You don’t really need aspirational luxury for a fulfilling life – it’s the simple things that matter and bring us together. Maybe the German part is throwing people off, after all, although I guess us who understand it don’t feel that it should…

  5. ronszekely

    This ad is wonderful.

    There is a similarity with Mastercard’s priceless campaign no doubt, but I find this campaign much more relevant – to the brand and to the economic times. The Mastercard ads try to be too clever and don’t really tell me anything unique about Mastercard.

    This ad very simply reminds us that life and love is bigger than the products that we buy. The pregnancy is more important than the pickle and yet – the products do play a part in the magic of everyday life.

    With only one exposure to this ad and this retailer – I now know that they have good prices (clear to me – even without understanding German), I know what types of products they carry and what their customers look like. I also know that they are more interested in their customers than the manufacturers of the brands they carry – which is appealing. All of this while enjoying the ad and feeling good afterwards. Four stars.

    and yes – there are many great ‘story-telling’ ads for products – have not seen too many good ones for retailers though.

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