Morrisons spends less on ads but wins shoppers

Morrisons is the only supermarket which has reduced its advertising spend in the run up to Christmas.

According to a report in The Grocer using data from media monitoring firm Billets, Morrisons cut its total ad spend by 2% to £6.46m in the four weeks to 25 November, compared to the same period last year. Its spend on TV ads was down 5.2%.

The latest TNS market share figures show Morrisons is growing at twice the market average taking a record market share of 12.1%, despite spending less than rivals on advertising.

The big four supermarkets including, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons increased the total spend on print ads by 36.4% to £18.7m. Total spend on TV ads rose 11.4% to £24.4 m.

Christmas advertising this year has moved away from brand advertising and celebrity endorsement to more price led campaigns highlighting tactical promotions.

Tesco shelled out £9.22m on its festive advertising, 29% more than in the same period last year. TV spend was up 36.7% while spend on print ads was 21.9% up as the supermarket moved ahead of Asda to be the highest spending advertiser.

Asda boosted its festive ad spend by 9% to £8.82m with an ongoing campaign focusing on its price promotion events.

Sainsbury’s doubled its spend on print ads and its total advertising spend for the period rose 17% to £6.93m

This year saw The Co-operative join the fray with aggressive price promotions to rival the big four and the data shows that the Co-op upped its total spend during the four weeks by 76.6%.

In the face of stagnant market share growth, the discounters, Aldi and Lidl have both almost doubled their ad spend – Aldi’s total spend was up 117.2% while Lidl’s spend was up 91.3% on last year.

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