Asda picks brand over price marketing for festive push

Asda is embracing the “genuine warmth” associated with Christmas in a festive brand campaign that pulls its advertising away from the price-focused messages that have been successful this year.

The supermarket’s “Smile” TV spot launches tonight (6 November) and sets the scene for what will be more brand-focused marketing in the run up to Christmas. The ad champions the smiles evoked by the Asda’s festive food and gifts range, featuring several familiar Christmas scenes involving family and friends.

From stockings being filled on Christmas Eve to family members wearing Christmas jumpers, the creative heroes Asda’s products such as its George clothing range, Samsung Tab 4 and kitchen crockery.

The VCCP-created ad opens with the line “The story of Christmas smiles with Asda” and is soundtracked by popstar and former employee Jahmene Douglas’ cover of Louis Armstrong’s “When you’re smiling”.

The “Smile” concept will evolve over the festive period, pushing various key products including premium Extra Special food and wine, gifting and toys. Ads for Asda’s “Spot the difference” service will also run as the brand looks to drive customers in-store with the promise of better value.

The supermarket’s marketing is price-orientated, a strategy that has delivered relative sales success in comparison to its rivals. Asda was crowned the winner of the big four in the 12 weeks to 12 October with year-on-year sales up 1% ahead of the market, boosting its share to 17.3%, according to the Kantar Worldpanel. It is a pattern that has been repeated throughout the year.

Asda’s brand focus in its latest ads will look to remind customers of its quality and value credentials at a time when it along with Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons are under pressure to convince customers to pick them over the fast growing discounters Aldi and Lidl.

It is not the first time Asda has played up its brand values at Christmas time. In 2012, its festive ad showed a mum performing all manner of tasks such as shopping, cooking and wrapping presents with help from the retailer. The scenes of the mother doing all the work sparked more than 600 complaints at the time, although the ad watchdog ruled they were not sexist.

Steve Smith, chief customer officer at Asda, says: “It captures those personal touches and thoughtful gestures that put a smile on people’s faces at Christmas. We know our customers want to go the extra mile to make their festivities special, and we want to remind them that we have put the thought and imagination into a range of fantastic food, wine, gifts and decorations so all they need to focus on is having fun together.