A favourite technique in market research is to ask who a brand would be if it was a person. Marketing guru Frances Brindle argues that Aldi is the only supermarket brand she would actually like to meet... (even though she's never shopped in one)
I have to confess that I have never shopped in Ald; my supermarket of choice is Waitrose, at the opposite end of the retail spectrum. But along with a lot of people who have never stepped through its doors, I do love Aldi’s advertising and, if Waitrose and/or my pay packet, were suddenly wiped out, I would certainly consider giving it a go.
The most recent ad featuring a dinner lady who doesn’t like cheese, or indeed children, is the latest in a series of witty and sometimes, edgy, one-liners. The most famous of course is the elderly lady who prefers gin to tea, but the respectable white-haired gent who enjoys wearing rubber gloves when he isn’t washing up, pushes the envelope into territory where the terminally dull triumvirate of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda would never dare venture. The focus of the ads is of course on price, but brands receive equal weighting with own label and the notable absence of junk food is subliminally reassuring to sceptical middle class shoppers. A supermarket that stocks Lindt chocolate bunnies can’t be all bad.
A favourite technique in market research is to ask who a brand would be if it was a person (also a good dinner party game if you, like me, have friends in marketing and PR who enjoy this sort of thing).
Sainsbury’s would no doubt like us to think of itself as Jamie Oliver after all those years of expensive celebrity endorsement. In fact, smug and mildly irritating probably isn’t too far from the mark.
Asda aims for cheery and down to earth, but produces ads that are arse-slappingly annoying (think Sue Pollard in Hi-de-Hi); and Tesco now seems to have no personality at all.
Being somewhat biased, I like to think of Waitrose as a ruddy-cheeked farmer – organic of course. Iceland and Stacey Solomon are practically bound at the hip. But Aldi is the only supermarket brand I would actually like to meet. Aldi reminds me of the comedian Michael McIntyre: witty, unpretentious and a bit cheeky although, unlike McIntyre, Aldi would clearly have a German accent.