07 Oct

For every rule an exception: Lidl

I have tendency to repeat myself*. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of ads that denigrate the competition e.g Reebok referring to Nike in an ad, or British Airways mentioning Virgin.

There are a number of reasons for this;
1. It lacks class.
2. It says that you have very little to say about your own brand.
3. It implies that you’re worried about your competitor.
4. It explicitly mentions your competitor… which makes consumers think of them as much as (or, possibly, instead of) you.

However, in nearly every case, with a view like this, there’s an exception. Below is that exception (Click on the images to see the copy more clearly)…

Lidl1 copy

Lidl2 copy     Lidl3 copy

It works – despite being an ad that directly critisicises the competition – for a whole host of reasons.

Firstly, through the initial headline, it leads you to believe that the ad is from Morrisons rather than critical of them.
As with any good press ad, the headline makes you want to read the body copy: ‘ooh, how is it that Morrisons are matching Lidl for prices?’

When you get to the body copy, the first four lines/points are relatively standard, in terms of laying out instructions i.e they’re not dripping with the sardonic wit of the ones that follow.

When you see how many points there are, beyond the first four, then you begin to realise just how much there is to do (and that this ad might be a parody…) to ‘match Lidl’s prices’.
Even if you get bored and can’t be bothered to read it all, then the ad has proved its point.

Then it finishes off – the coup de grace – with ‘Or you could just go to Lidl [logo]’, which absolutely nails the fact that Lidl’s prices are ‘naturally’ low: they don’t have to go to the lengths that Morrisons are going to, to offer bargain prices. They’ve been doing it for years, without being prompted by a ‘price war’.

The only criticism I can offer of this ad, is that it reminds me of this campaign, for Dixons: ‘then go to Dixons.co.uk and buy it’

Other than that, it’s watertight – flawless.

And let’s be fair; Morrisons et al kicked off this ‘war’ by deciding to deliberately change tack to compete with Aldi and Lidl.

Yes, it’s an ad that directly mentions – even attacks – a competitor, but, bloody hell, it works.

*You have no idea how much I resisted the temptation to repeat ‘I have a tendency to repeat myself’.

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