Asda puts Christmas ‘on ice’ to showcase product quality and range

The ad is the first launched under the leadership of chief customer officer Meghan Farren, who wants customers to “make every moment spectacular” this festive season.

Asda is diverting from its usual price focus to instead highlight the quality and range of its products this Christmas, with an advert illustrating all the “little days” that build up to 25 December.

The ad is the first launched under the leadership of the supermarket’s new chief customer officer Meghan Farren, who joined Asda in October this year from KFC.

“This year our Christmas campaign is about celebrating all the moments that make Christmas special, and showcasing the amazing quality and range of products our customers can enjoy throughout the festive season,” she says.

“We didn’t just miss the opportunity to enjoy Christmas dinner together last year – we missed the school plays and the work nights out. This year we want to help our customers make every moment spectacular.”

Launching on ITV tomorrow (5 November) during Coronation Street, the 60-second spot follows a family through a series of Christmas moments, from the school play and office party to eating a Christmas pudding.

However, all of this action takes place on ice, with the family, neighbours and Asda colleagues all gliding through the story on skates to the classic ice dancing song, Boléro.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Asda’s senior director of brand communications Stephi Brett-Lee says the primary aim of the campaign is to connect with customers on an “emotional level”, and get them to “reappraise” the brand’s messaging on quality.

“We’ve gone really big on our Extra Special Range this year and we’re celebrating that in our ads more than ever before,” she says. “We’ve really gone after those quality moments and will see how that performs.”Asda switches slogans to focus on wider brand experience

During the campaign, viewers will see hero products from Asda’s 2021 Christmas range, including its Extra Special Ham, Rarebit Spoons and the Extra Special Chocolate Orange Bauble.

Asked about the departure from Asda’s price-focused messaging, CMO Farren adds that customers really want “great value, which is a function of both price, but also what you get for that price”.

Asda wants to “plant ourselves firmly in the consideration set at Christmas” while “building relevance”, she adds.

Created by Havas London, ‘Asda on Ice’ ends with the brand’s classic ‘Pocket Tap’ bringing the sequence back to reality, where a little girl is asleep in bed with a pair of glittering skates hanging off the back of her bedroom door. 

On top of the 60-second film, the retailer will be airing four additional 30-second edits which focus on the products on offer across all the Christmas moments, from gifting and decorations, to party food and Christmas dinner. 

Asda retired its long standing pocket tap in 2007, but brought the brand signal back in 2020 as part of a £100m investment in lowering prices across thousands of lines. Its comeback came with a new tagline for the grocer: ‘That’s Asda Price’.

However, Asda replaced the tagline earlier this autumn with a new message that moves the brand away from price and celebrates how the supermarket brings more to customers than just value: ‘Get the Asda Price Feeling’.

As of October, data from Kantar shows Asda claims a 14.4% market share in Great Britain, the third highest of the major supermarkets. It is topped only by Sainsburys (14.9%) and market leader Tesco (27.5%).

That’s Asda Price was the first major campaign from former chief customer officer Anna-Maree Shaw, who Farren has replaced. The former KFC UK CMO has been tasked with leading the supermarket’s marketing strategy and managing its brands, playing a “pivotal role” in the retailer’s customer strategy.

Farren tells Marketing Week she was drawn to the Asda role by the “epic opportunity to revitalise the brand” and drive growth. “I’m excited by the ambition of the new ownership, and by the freedom we have now to build the brand into a really relevant and distinctive brand that sits in the heart of British culture.”

Farren was credited with helping to turn around KFC’s fortunes after a decade with the fast food chain, working her way up from innovation director to CMO.