Supermarkets splashed out £35m on Xmas ads

Supermarkets splashed out 23 per cent more on advertising over Christmas compared with the previous year, as they looked to entice consumers to spend over the festive period.

Tesco spent most on Christmas advertising.

Tesco was the highest spending supermarket investing £8.4m in the four weeks to 5 January – 29 per cent more than the year before – according to Nielsen. It maintained a 28.6 per cent share of the market over the period.

Asda spent £8.2m, Sainsbury’s £5.7m and Morrisons £5.5m.

Waitrose made the biggest increase in advertising spend during the four-week period, which includes the first week in Janaury, with investment up 56 percent to £2.2m, despite its claims in its TV ads that it was not running a big budget Christmas ad so that it could donate more to charities by saving on production costs. The increase in spend was largely driven by press advertising, however.

The investment in advertising helped drive its market share up to 4.3 per cent from 4.1 per cent.

Aldi, which was the fastest growing supermarket during the Christmas period and increased its market share to 2.8 per cent, spent £4.8m on TV and press ads – a 52 per cent rise in ad spend.

TV advertising remains the marketing “powerhouse” over Christmas, according to Nielsen, helping to drive 3.7 per cent year on year growth across the sector. Volume sales increased 0.5 per cent during the four week period.

The Friday and Saturday before Christmas accounted for 15 per cent of total spend for the month, with a third of shoppers visiting a supermarket on those days.

Nielsen UK head of retailer insight Mike Watkins, says: “With shoppers under financial pressure, but still wishing to celebrate Christmas and New Year, the challenge for all retailers was to deliver value for money and engage more effectively with the cautious consumer. Advertising and promotions played a key role in attracting shoppers and encouraging them to spend at Tesco.

“We see savvy shopping being the key trend in 2013 with consumers shopping around and looking for the best offers. Therefore, retailers will still need to use promotions and coupons to help drive store footfall. In an increasingly disloyal environment, the battle for the hearts and wallets of shoppers will be top of mind for retailers and brand owners alike.”

The latest Kantar Worldpanel figures, out yesterday (15 January) showed Tesco and Sainsbury’s achieving identical growth in the six weeks to 6 January.


Coca-Cola polar bear can

Q&A: Coke NWEN brand director Hilary Quinn

Lara O'Reilly

Hilary Quinn, Coca-Cola brand director for North West Europe and Nordics, defends its latest polar bear partnership campaign with WWF against criticisms from sceptics and explains how the activity will help inspire future pan-European sustainability marketing.

Ruth Mortimer

How to fly when salaries are diving

Ruth Mortimer

What are you worth? Let me tell you. If you’re a man in the top 10 per cent of marketing earners, you may be taking home an average of £96,997. But if you are female, you can expect around £10,000 less for doing the same job.

Lara O'Reilly

Facebook’s Graph Search could be Google’s gain

Lara O'Reilly

Marketers should be keen to follow the progress of Facebook’s recently announced Graph Search as it slowly rolls out to users in the coming months. But, if the initial reaction to the service is anything to go by, the advertising opportunities thought to be attached to the search engine at a later date may not even get off the ground as users look unlikely to be forthcoming with the data that is so necessary for it to become a marketing utility.


    Leave a comment