Tesco promises Hudl tablet marketing will be antidote to “intimidating” tech ads

Tesco says the marketing campaign for Hudl, its just launched seven-inch Android tablet, will be an antidote to “intimidating” tech ads by focussing on real people using tablets. 

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The supermarket unveiled Hudl today (23 September). The launch will be backed with a marketing campaign that begins next Monday (September 30) and includes TV, print and digital ads that aim to showcase what “real people” use their Hudl tablet for. The ads feature customers chatting to family, checking Facebook and watching videos online, all centred around the message #LetsHudl.

Holly Kousalari, Tesco’s marketing manager, speaking to Marketing Week after an event to launch the tablet in London today (23 September), said one of the main criticisms of rivals’ ad campaigns was that they made technology look intimidating. As a result, Tesco is using real people to show the “pleasure” that can come from using a tablet, she added.

“We wanted to show the desire and pleasure you can get from using Hudl. Technology can be intimidating, but this product is about being at the heart of the British public.

“These ads are disruptive and cut through the noise, reflecting what real people use tablets for. There are so many tablet ads you risk becoming wallpaper. We wanted to be different, ” she said.

The Hudl is set to go on sale online and in 1,000 stores next week. It will cost £119, although Tesco customers that save their Clubcard points will be able to buy one in exchange for as little as £60 worth of vouchers.

It runs Android version 4.2.2, has a Wi-Fi connection and scratch-resistant HD screen and up to nine hours of battery life. It also has 16GB of storage built in, with customers able to add an extra 32GB via a microSD card.

Users will also be able to access Tesco’s digital services, including blinkbox movies, TV and music, online groceries, Clubcard TV and banking through a “dedicated launcher button” that CEO Philip Clarke claimed at the launch puts its customers just a “fingertip away from Tesco”. It also comes with a range of other apps, including YouTube and Google, built in and access to the Google Play store so users can download further apps.

The launch of Hudl forms part of Tesco’s multichannel strategy aimed, as Clarke put it, at bringing the “digital revolution to the many”. He believes that while tablets are playing an increasingly important role in how consumers shop, for many they simply aren’t accessible or affordable. Currently one in four UK households has a tablet, according to Ofcom research.

“Tesco and the world around it are changing. People communicate differently, consume differently, work differently. A transformation is going on and we want to be part of the future. So we are making an unprecedented level of investment behind the scenes. Tablets are for the many, not the few,” says Clarke.

Tesco says Hudl is the “first step” into the tablet market, with the company planning updates to both the hardware and apps as it looks to boost its relationship with consumers through technology. The firm is keen to improve perception following involvement in the horse meat scandal and the pricing of strawberries.

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