The Co-operative Food takes a dig at the ‘glitz’ of its rivals as it launches emotive Christmas TV ad

The Co-Op has opted for an emotive TV ad, opposed to the ‘glitz and glamour’ of its rivals, as it aims to become the UK’s number one convenience retailer over Christmas.

With the tagline ‘Discover a little more this Christmas’ and the sound of Ravel’s ‘Bolero’, the 60-second ad, created by Leo Burnett London, centers around two young men looking for ice for their drinks as they host a Christmas party.

Due to the icy conditions outside, their elderly neighbor is unable to leave the house so the young man buys the pensioner treats from his local co-op including stilton and smoked salmon.

Two ads, in 60 and 30-second formats, will be supported by shorter video spots across TV and online channels that focus on the elderly man enjoying the random act of kindness.

“Unlike our competitors, we believe our ad shows the real magic behind Christmas, and that for many people, it’s not glitz and glamour that matters, but kindness,” says Amanda Jennings, marketing director at The Co-operative Food.

In particular, Jennings is hoping the campaign will continue to tap into the brand’s convenience values.

“The advert encapsulates who we are as a retailer within communities, and shows some of the human truths that our stores see every day,” she added.

“We want to inspire shoppers this year, and encourage customers to discover more in our stores then they bargained for when they pop in to shop with us.”

Growing sales

Sales at Co-operative Food, which includes all retail societies with ‘The Co-operative’ branding, increased by 1.5% in the third quarter of the year according to Kantar Worldpanel data for the 12 weeks ending 8 November.

This rate of growth was higher than the grocery market average, where sales were up by just 0.5%.

The Co-op’s market share also gained 0.1 percentage point to 6.3% for the period – its first year-on-year share gain since 2011.

“What we’re seeing from our data is that the efforts the Co-op have made in refocusing as purely a convenience business are paying dividends now,” says Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

“The shoppers coming into the stores are a little bit younger, a little more upmarket. The average basket is getting smaller as people are popping in for a few things. For the medium term at least I think we’re going to continue to see the Co-op do quite well in what is a pretty tough market.”