The Co-op focuses on its community work for Christmas ad

The convenience retailer is hoping a community-focused angle will give it cut-through this Christmas.

Co-op Food is focusing on real customers and its charitable community work for its Christmas marketing campaign.

Its one-minute festive TV ad, created by Leo Burnett, focuses on real customers and how Christmas brings them together as a community. It ends on the question ‘what if our good times could help fund good times for others?’.

The aim of the ad is to bring attention to the £1.5m the convenience retailer has raised for community groups across the UK such as the Southport Lifeboat crew and the Leeds urban farm, which both star in the ad. It also reinforces the historic community values at the centre of the Co-op brand.

“For our Christmas 2016 campaign, we have focused on the very thing that makes the Co-op so special, showcasing how buying our brilliant own brand food and drink can do good within your community through the 1%,” says Jemima Bird, customer director for the Co-op Food, referencing the brand’s new membership offer which gives members 5% back on the cost of Co-op own-brand products and then donates 1% to a nominated local cause.

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She adds: “As a convenience retailer who operates in the heart of communities across the UK, we see our membership scheme benefitting local causes every single day, and the groups in our Christmas advert had great fun participating in the filming too.”

The campaign will be activated through outdoor advertising, press, online, social and in-store, with each execution focusing on a different way the retailer helps local community initiatives.

The Co-op’s Christmas ad is a notable contrast to most UK retailers, which have opted for emotion or CGI characters in their Christmas campaigns this year. Lidl, another retailer that has used real customers in its Christmas ad, believes this approach is the most powerful. 

Its UK marketing director Claire Farrant recently told Marketing Week: “You could just use a 3D character but then we’d have just been like everybody else. At the end of the day there is nothing more engaging than a real customer telling another customer at home how great a brand or product is.”