Sainsbury’s is to run a high-risk TV advertising campaign featuring footballer Bruce Grobbelaar, who was arrested for match-fixing earlier this year, to front its new advertisements.
Grobbelaar was arrested along with John Fashanu and Hans Segers after allegations, first aired in The Sun newspaper, that he had taken more than 40,000 from a Far Eastern betting syndicate to throw matches. All three deny the allegations.
Sainsbury’s will be using Grobbelaar in ads to take on Tesco, which is running a TV initiative promoting the proposition that it will exchange goods consumers are unhappy with.
Sainsbury’s angle is that any goods broken at the store – or even in the car park – will be replaced without quibble. Grobbelaar is shown with goods falling through his hands.
TV presenter Ulrika Johnson, who hosts The Gladiators show with John Fashanu, will also feature in the campaign.
Johnson and her baby will be used to boost Sainsbury’s appeal to young parents – a theme strongly pushed by rival supermarket Safeway with its series of ads through Bates Dorland featuring the “talking toddler”, Harry.
The long-heralded Sainsbury’s campaign, which has customer service as its focus, breaks this Sunday night. It will run alongside the celebrity recipe campaign while a further initiative pushing its commitment to own-label and sub-branded products, is also likely in the near future.