Holiday Campaign Interview: Lidl Christmas Tribes

"So our job is to sell as much Christmas food to as many people as possible."

 

Dave Owen
Head Of Account Management TBWA\London
Rosie Gilligan
Senior Account Manager TBWA\London
Scott Andrews
Senior Creative TBWA\Worldwide
Justin Clouder
Strategy Partner TBWA\London

In a few words, tell us about your role in the creation of "Double Dippers" 

 

The Copywriter Scott Andrews, Planning Director Justin Clouder, Business Director Dave Owen and Senior Account Manager Rosie Gilligan that worked on the campaign have each taken a couple of questions to answer. We were the lead strategic and creative agency on this and so we were involved at every step from brief to the final delivery with Lidl. 

 

What was the original brief for this campaign? 

Christmas is a vital trading time for all retailers, not just because of the vast amounts of food the nation consumes but because a good Christmas sets a retailer up for the year to come, carrying morale and momentum into the tougher days of January and beyond.  

So our job is to sell as much Christmas food to as many people as possible. A sales challenge. It was also important to continue to build on the quality perceptions we have been improving for the past two years. Quality is never more important than at Christmas with consumers thinking they need to go to competitors in order to get the Christmas quality they deserve, when it is actually all available to them at Lidl for a much lower price. 

This was coupled with a tough creative challenge. To standout against a backdrop of the UK's annual 'Superbowl' advertising equivalent. Big competitors spending millions of pounds on cinematic epics with a degree of scrutiny unmatched by any other campaign period. 

 

What inspired you to approach the campaign this way? 

Lidl have a very specific challenge at Christmas. People don't think we sell everything they need for their Christmas shopping. So even people who regularly shop at Lidl tend to go elsewhere for the big shop at Christmas or for the luxuries and special treats they want to make the day special. 

But we do have everything. And we do have lots of great luxury and special treats. So we need to tell people about our range. 

An obvious way to do this would be to show a massive range, groaning tables, huge lists of products. Obvious, but boring. And it wouldn't allow us to sing the praises of some of our great products. 

So we decided to demonstrate range differently, by making an enormous number of executions in all touchpoints. Instead of the usual big Christmas blockbuster, this was a disruptive approach for a disruptive retailer. No two people would experience the campaign exactly the same way because everyone would see different combinations of TV, radio, social, press, outdoor (The whole gamut of channels available to us), allowing them to come to the conclusion themselves that Lidl does indeed have 'Every Lidl Thing For Christmas'. 

We needed a creative idea which was both consistent and flexible. The campaign idea of 'Christmas tribes' offered this, based on genuine observations of the many quirky characters and behaviours to be found at Christmas. 

We identified our different ‘tribes’ using social listening to understand customers’ Christmas habits and quirks, matching a hero product with each behavior. We then looked at how these different tribes used media around Christmas to understand the different formats and channels required to capture their attention and build the multi faceted campaign. 

 

How difficult was it to sell the idea to Lidl? 

Not at all. The campaign strategy and approach were collaboratively agreed. The creative expression of it builds on previous work in its tone and approach. No "sell" was needed. 

 

What was the biggest challenge you faced during the process? 

Staying on top of the volume of content and different formats we needed to capture and the lack of sleep from the mammoth shoot! 

 

What did you learn from the experience? 

This was a simple strategy, but a major logistical challenge. The sheer volume of executions across an 8-week period, in multiple media and with different products given varying degrees of prominence and timing, made for a lot of work. Clear selection criteria and processes were vital to prevent it becoming overwhelming. Close collaboration between agencies and within Lidl was essential. 

 

What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about? 

There was a mince pie spit bucket for the Mince Pie Maverick which was just horrific by the end of the shoot! The poor guy had to eat over 100 mince pies, which by the way would only cost you around 12 pounds at Lidl! You can watch the ad they mention below. 

 

 

What do you think the advertising industry's New Year’s resolution should be? 

Don’t ever lose sight of, or faith in, what our industry does brilliantly. Delivering disruptive work that delivers huge growth for clients. 

Big creative ideas should sell but also be worth the time we expect people to give up for it. If it doesn't sell, it's indulgent. If it doesn't entertain or inform, it's pollution. 

 

What is your favorite holiday campaign of all time? 

Justin - John Lewis – The long wait 

 

Rosie – Coca Cola – The original Holidays are coming ad 

 

Dave - Oral B – Merry Beeping Christmas 

 

Scott – TK Maxx – The sing along 

 

 

Dave Owen
Head Of Account Management TBWA\London
Rosie Gilligan
Senior Account Manager TBWA\London
Scott Andrews
Senior Creative TBWA\Worldwide
Justin Clouder
Strategy Partner TBWA\London