Instagram, John Lewis & Tesco: 5 things that mattered this week

From retailers posting their Christmas results to Instagram introducing ads to its ‘Stories’ feature, here are the five things you need to know.

tesco food stories

Tesco changes how it talks about food

This week, Tesco made some big changes to the way it talks about its food in its advertising. Instead of highlighting particular products, it is now looking to showcase the quality of its food and the passion and care that goes into the meals its customers prepare.

To show off its latest strategy change, the grocer launched a new campaign entitled ‘Food love stories brought to you by Tesco’. It aims to demonstrate that Tesco understands the important role food plays in its customers’ lives, something Tesco has not done widely in its advertising up to now.

Michelle McEttrick, group brand director at Tesco, says: “We’ve always taken great pride in the quality of our food and we know how good food brings people and families together. So this January, we’re launching ‘Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco’, a campaign that puts food at the very heart of our business and tells the stories behind the meals we all make for those closest to us.”

John Lewis admits its Christmas ads are ‘no longer as groundbreaking’

John Lewis is hoping #BustertheDog can surpass Monty The Penguin in popularity

The days of tear-jerker Christmas campaigns could soon be over for John Lewis – at least that’s what the retailer seems to be suggesting.

Despite being “thrilled” with the performance of its Buster the Boxer Christmas ad this year, John Lewis conceded its festive ads are “no long as groundbreaking” and says it could switch up its approach in 2017.

“Is it as groundbreaking as the first time we did it or people saw it? Possibly not. In some ways we can post-rationalise these things and look back and overlay a moment [that shift] happened,” chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield told Marketing Week.

“The brand has evolved for 10 years now and, along with Waitrose, become a lot more accessible for Brits thanks to our advertising and that’s a great thing. But we are looking at the best way to evolve that going forward. It isn’t about doing the same thing each year [with our advertising] but doing different things. That’s partly in terms of creativity and how we then wrap things around it.”

Gen X, Y and Z agree traditional ads are better than digital

Generation Z - Timeline

Thought there were big differences between the young and old when it comes to ad preference? Well some new research suggests they have more in common than initially thought.

Kantar Millward Brown surveyed 23,000 consumers across 39 different countries, monitoring advertising perceptions among Generation X (the baby boomers born between the early 1960s to late 1970s), Generation Y (people born in the 1980s and 1990s) and Generation Z (those born from the year 2000 onwards). And when asked which ad formats they respond best to, each generation voted in a higher proportion for traditional formats over online ad formats.

The most popular traditional format is cinema, with more than half (59%) of UK consumers identified as Gen Z feeling ‘positive about it’ as an advertising channel, with Gen X (52%) and Gen Y (50%) not far behind. And even radio, the least popular traditional format on a list of six, is better perceived than desktop display, the most popular online ad format on a list of fix, among the three different generations.

The retailers outline their Christmas performance

Morrisons_edited

This week was an important one for retailers, with the grocers and major high street brands releasing their Christmas results. Morrisons certainly had a good reason to be cheery – for the nine weeks to 1 January, the grocer posted a 2.9% rise in like-for-like sales, its best performance over the festive period in seven years.

Meanwhile, Tesco revealed its like-for-like sales grew 0.7% in the UK for the six weeks to 7 January, crediting its fresh food for “outperforming the market”. M&S posted a rise in clothing and homeware sales over the Christmas period for the first time in two years.

But not everyone had a good week. Although it beat industry forecasts, Sainsbury’s Christmas sales were flat as the group relied on Argos and its online expertise to provide some festive cheer.

Next had to issue a profit warning earlier this month after full-price sales for the 54 days to 24 December were down by 0.4%. Sales at its end-of-season sale, which runs from Boxing Day and typically pulls in customers, also slumped by 7%.

Instagram introduces advertising to ‘Stories’

‘Stories’ have been part of Instagram since the summer, allowing users to post videos and photos that appear at the top of a user’s feed. It has proved hugely popular, used by 150 million people every day according to Instagram but brands, while able to use the feature, haven’t been able to get in front of users that are not following them on the photo network.

That is all about to change. Instagram is testing advertising with brands including Asos, L’Oréal and Adidas. The ads will not appear at the top of the news feed amid organic Stories but will be shown as people watch or flick through Stories using a mid-roll format similar to how TV advertising works.

Instagram launched Stories in August last year in a move that was widely seen as a copy of an existing feature on rival Snapchat. And Cole “gives credit” to competitors for coming up for the feature but says the format is one that is only going to get more popular.

“The Stories format is one we see becoming more prevalent and actually being a new format you see on a number of platforms. We absolutely give credit to competitors and the Stories format is obviously one we are seeing from competitors, but I think we will see it more on multiple platforms,” she says.

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