Home > marketing ramblings > What fresh hell is this?

What fresh hell is this?

Rather than filling a server facility in a North American desert with some unsolicited and probably unwanted analysis about which British advertiser has “won Christmas”, I thought I would distract you from the John Lewis ad, dear reader, with an observation that might otherwise have escaped your attention.

While watching television one evening last week, I behaved unlike most viewers and took the trouble to read one of the supers on the latest Asda TV commercial.

The ad itself is pretty inoffensive, but is arguably a bit of an upgrade on any recent Asda advertising. It feels like it was made during this century and doesn’t seem to be based on the “we’re cheaper than everyone else (according to us), so please shop here” strategy that had seen Asda win the race to the bottom just in time for Aldi and Lidl to arrive and decimate their customer base. At least that’s my take on things.

Anyway, back to the point: at the end of the commercial, Asda’s endline appeared. ‘Save money. Live better.’ it implored. So far, so who cares. But there, in the black letterbox panel underneath the visual (the area usually reserved for the legal bits that advertisers wish they didn’t have to put on screen), sat the following line:

‘Save money Live better’ (sic) is Asda’s mission statement.

See for yourself…



It’s no surprise that Asda has a mission statement. Many companies and brands have them. They may also have visions, purposes, manifestos, values and even a credo if you’re lucky. Hell, we create some of these mantras for our clients if they help define what the brand stands for.

But putting it on your TV ad? That’s a first in my experience (if any contributors would like to contradict me, feel free).

Why? To what purpose? The job of the ad is to communicate your mission statement without having to put it on screen. Anyway, it’s your endline, Asda, FFS.

I’ve always tried to resist using even the best piece of strategic thinking as an endline – planners’ egos rarely need massaging that much – as it reveals either a certain lack of imagination on the creative team’s part or a strategy that can’t be flexed in a different way. But this is something else.

Have Asda/ Walmart conducted some insightful research revealing that there are consumers out there holding off the decision about where to buy their turkey until they’ve collected mission statements from the leading supermarkets? Personally, I suspect not.

Anyway, I have now decided that the next TV commercial Breakfast produces will jump on this trend and add some lines from the brief to the execution. Maybe we’ll kick off with the agency job number in the centre of the screen, before fading out and introducing the typical consumer in their living room. Although come to think of it, that’s what most of the Christmas ads do anyway…

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, John Lewis and Waitrose win Christmas – again – as they remain the two highest-profile brands who refuse to place the gramatically incorrect hyphen in ‘In Store’ at the end of their ads.

Bravo, John Lewis Group and your agencies…







Categories: marketing ramblings
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