Aldi’s long-running ‘Like Brands’ campaign, devised by McCann Manchester, has won the Grand Prix in the 2019 Effie Awards Europe, where McCann Worldgroup was also named the Agency of the Year.

In contrast to Aldi’s previous Grand Prix win in 2017 with the character of Kevin the Carrot, the Like Brands campaign was product-led and ran over a nine-year period. Initially successful in the UK, where the retailer aired over 100 Like Brands ads, the idea was also exported to Ireland, Australia and the US.

At the Euro Effie forum, which took place on Tuesday afternoon before the winners were announced, Darren Hawkins, Strategy & Insight Director, McCann Manchester, outlined the thinking behind the campaign and the results it achieved.

Most shoppers weren’t loyal to the store, felt little in the way of an emotional connection to it and wanted to purchase products with a brand name that was familiar to them, he explained.

The campaign strategy overtly targeted these ‘disloyal’ shoppers and aimed to create quality parity through premium brand vs Aldi-stocked brand comparison.

“We explicitly acknowledged that people like premium brands,” Hawkins said. (For more on award-winning campaigns from the Effie Awards Europe, read WARC’s report: How to move markets by moving people.)

The ‘like brands only cheaper’ campaign featured a range of Aldi-stocked products such as teabags, tomato ketchup and nappies, showing them next to the more expensive option from PG Tips, Heinz or Pampers. Aside from the brand names, the two products tended to look incredibly similar… apart from the huge difference in price.

The campaign used gentle humour to build the emotional connection Aldi had been lacking, and even affectionately parodied other advertising campaigns, most notably the John Lewis Man In The Moon Christmas ad.

The results built over the nine-year campaign period between 2011 and 2018 spawned a ROMI of 425% based on an investment over the same period of £52m.

What’s more, Aldi closed the gap between itself and Tesco, the market-leading supermarket in the UK, in terms of perceptions of quality from -18.4% in 2014 and -13.6% in 2018.

Sourced from WARC