Tesco takes ‘inside out’ approach as it looks to colleagues for inspiration

The supermarket’s new marketing boss says she hopes the new ‘Little Helps to Healthier Living’ campaign will prove Tesco is practicing what it preaches.

Tesco’s chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini says each of its ads are now directly inspired by a shop floor colleague, as it moves to an “inside out” marketing approach.

Today (2 May), Tesco launched the ‘Little Helps to Healthier Living’ campaign. As part of the campaign, Tesco will lower the price of fruit and vegetables; provide ‘Little Swap’ signposts in-store alerting consumers to healthier alternatives; put fresh fruit at checkouts; and launch two new health-minded TV ads as part of its ongoing ‘Food Love Stories’ campaign. The latter will feature recipes from health-minded chef Derek Sarno.

Running through May, the integrated campaign will also see Tesco provide free diabetes risk assessments and blood pressure check-ups in 375 of its large store pharmacies, as well as support 330 Race for Life events across the UK in partnership with Cancer Research UK.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Bellini says the campaign is a bid to ensure Tesco’s marketing is more integrated and purpose-driven.

She says: “We have a responsibility as the nation’s largest greengrocer to do more and this campaign is breaking new ground as it is utilising customers, colleagues and communities at the same time.”

READ MORE: Tesco CEO acknowledges its brand must push responsibility ‘even further’

Last summer, Tesco introduced its Free Fruit for Kids initiative, something Bellini says was directly inspired by a colleague. This new approach to marketing means shop floor colleagues  have an integral say on advertising narratives, much like an agency would.

“Our colleagues inspire us often and, in fact, a lot of the Food Love Stories come from ideas direct from our colleagues,” she explains. “The plan is to get them to inspire all the advertising we do from now on and feel more engaged.

“Ultimately, if your staff truly feel a part of a campaign – and we’re trying to get our staff involved this time around by offering them health checks and free fruit – it helps a campaign truly come to life.”

It is interesting to build a campaign from the inside out, rather than [the old way] just telling people what to do.

Alessandra Bellini, Tesco

Over recent months, Tesco has put forward a more purpose-driven marketing strategy. In March, for example, it launched a campaign talking up its battle to reduce food waste.

This latest campaign sees Tesco working with the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK to donate £1 for every mile a Tesco colleague completes as part of the Tesco Million Mile Challenge. Tesco will match each mile with £1, with a total donation goal of £1 million.

Bellini insists these moves are not a gimmick and says Tesco has a commitment for the long-term.

She concludes: “We’ve taken out 8,000 tonnes of sugar, fat and salt from our supply chain – so the real aim is to help people make better, healthier choices. We don’t want to force people, but to show them we are practicing what we preach and that the promises you see in the TV campaign are being executed throughout the business.

“It is interesting to build something from the inside out, instead of [the old way] of just telling people what to do.”

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