Annie Dawson, TMF tutor, writes…….. This is one for all of you who are doing Integrated Communications:
Unbelievably Lidl is now the top spender on advertising outstripping all the other retailers… having spent £78m on advertising in 2015. They are also the No 1 fastest growing supermarket.
Lidl increased its media spend by £37m (89% boost) on 2014. It also had an 82% boost in 2014. Over the same period it shot past Aldi in sales uplifts and achieved 4.4% market share.
The Big Four have also over this same time period reduced their ad spend by over £60m.
- Tesco cut its ad budget by 19% and saw its market share drop by 0.8%
- Morrison cut ad spend by 35% and its market share fell by 0.3%
- ASDA (the biggest spending retailer on ads in 2014) cut back by 19% and saw market share drop by 0.7%
Advertising and its role in Lidl’s success story is clearly important however it’s just one of the many touchpoints that Lidl have got right recently. Other factors such as new store openings have also played a role. However it’s the marketing that has allowed Lidl to reposition itself from “down at heel” to something more friendly and appealing. Lidl have a well-integrated campaign strategy and use all platforms for reaching their customers.
So what about the big FMCG brands?
Coca- Cola returned to the No 1 spot after increasing its media spend by 21%, and brands such as Warburton (tie up with The Muppets and Sylvester Stallone) increased their ad spend by nearly £6m, Wrigley’s Extra increasing by £5m and L’Oréal by £4.8m.
Whilst the major FMCG brands have worked hard at their integrated campaigns and absolutely see a place for digital, it is also interesting to note that the FMCG brands spent £1.5bn (up 3.2%) on traditional media in 2015. The top brands led by Cocoa Cola have continued to push harder with budgets rising by a total 14.7% to hit £641m. The supermarkets also have spent disproportionately more on traditional advertising than previously… and by traditional we mean TV, press, outdoor, radio, cinema…
A few years ago traditional advertising was beginning to look too “traditional” what with vbloggers, social media platforms galore and powerful smartphone multimedia screens… so how come the world of food and drink have carried on spending in this traditional space?
It seems that the combination of digital and traditional works well because the digital element allows the traditional element to be measurable. It’s all about context…traditional advertising is doing well… but digital is soaring… but obviously from a lower base…
The Internet Advertising Bureau UK Digital Ad spend reports that advertisers across all industries spent £3.98bn on digital advertising in the first half of 2015, up 13.4% yoy.
Digital is being used but as more of a complement to other forms of media. The top brands are still seeing a need and space for the traditional forms of communications, if print was so out-dated why would Lidl pay for an enormous triple page gate-folded display ad in the Daily Telegraph to show off its Easter deals?
At the same time advertising on social media grew 51% to £574m, native advertising grew 50% to £325m and Tablet dedicated ad spend grew 115% to £68m.
So traditional media owners should take heart, this shouldn’t necessarily be bad news. There is clearly a symbiotic relationship between TV and digital… and TV stations are working hard to fathom a way that means they stay relevant in the digital world.
Integrated campaigns, whilst not rocket science is one of the biggest steps forward companies can take.
Starting with a core creative idea or overarching brand idea …each of the communication platforms then has to take the idea as their core but give it the twist it needs for the specific platform. Consistency of message is key.
Some of the big hitter platforms like video are becoming much more common place…as are Facebook… Buzzfeed is starting to gain traction and personalised promotions are the heralded new kid on the block but currently there is relatively little of this happening…presumably because there isn’t yet enough evidence to prove it works…
It’s still all about content…which must be engaging, useful – and scalable.