Adwatch (Oct 26) - Top 20 recall: Sainsbury's moves past Oliver

Sainsbury's ad moves Dad from adversial budget keeper to frugality supporter
Sainsbury's ad moves Dad from adversial budget keeper to frugality supporter

The supermarket has moved its ads into the post-Jamie Oliver era with great poise.

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I recently spent a week playing Mr Mum, looking after my three young kids on my own. I discovered what every mum already knows: feeding a family is a relentless, all-consuming and mostly thankless task, requiring military planning.

When you get it right, however, and you're not labelled as a pathetic human being by your offspring, and you haven't resorted to the Expensive And Mostly Unholy Take Away Gods, well, you can bask in the glow of your existence. That is before being labelled a pathetic human being for the quality of your bedtime tuck-in.

This is why the latest Sainsbury's spot caught my eye. The 'Live well for less' ad taps into a feeling that we're told is sweeping the country: a return to simpler values, rediscovering what is emotionally important, not materialistically important. Or in other words, staying home playing Battlefield 3 instead of remortgaging the house again to put a deposit on a small tropical island.

In the post-Jamie Oliver era, the spot shows a father and son enjoying a grey day out on a pebbly seaside. YouTube comments inform me it's the rather fetching destination of Worthing.

As an Australian, I've learned it's this kind of misery that must be embraced in this country if you want to venture outside your front door without draining your wallet.

It's charmingly captured and puts the brand right at the heart of the event. Like the best Sainsbury's work, it's a recipe suggestion. By placing Dad in the hero role, not Stacey Solomon, it also creates a different conversation in the household; one that moves Dad from being the adversarial budget-keeper, to an active supporter of frugal spending.

With sales across the grocery sector in decline and record inflation pushing the cost of food up, all the big supermarkets have their own strategy to cling on to sales.

Essential Waitrose suggests that some items are mere commodities to be chucked in a plain bag, so one can still afford Parma-ham-wrapped chipolatas. Asda claims it can save you 10% on the same basket of groceries. Aldi maintains that 'un-brands' do the job of name brands. Morrisons, meanwhile, takes whatever everyone else thinks and puts it in a blender with a Take That track.

At a time when every supermarket boss must be staring down the barrel, the Sainsbury's spot shows a brand with great poise, holding on to its values instead of chucking everything away in a panic. Time will tell whether panic is what is actually required.

Adwatch (October 26): Top 20 recall
Latest Oct-19 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1= (–) Direct Line  M&C Saatchi/MediaCom 32
1= -6 Morrisons  DLKW Lowe/MEC 32
1= (15=) Tesco  The Red Brick Road/Initiative 32
4= (–) National Lottery
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/
4= (7=) Argos  CHI & Partners/
4= (–) Sky  Brothers & Sisters/
7 (–) O2  VCCP/
8 -1 Iceland  (Beta)/MediaCom North 28
9 (–) British Airways  Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
10= (4=) Marks & Spencer  RKCR Y&R/Walker Media 25
10= (18=) Sainsbury's  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/
10= (–) Werther's Original  Pahnke Markenmacherei/
13 (–) Harveys  Velvet TV/MediaVest 23
14 (–) Kellogg's Krave  Leo Burnett/Carat 22
15 (–) Head & Shoulders  Saatchi & Saatchi/
16 -3 Currys/PC World  M&C Saatchi/
Walker Media
17= (15=) 118 118  The Brooklyn Brothers/
17= (–) Change4Life  M&C Saatchi/M4C 19
17= (–) ITV Bingo  Biscuit Agency/Concord 19
17= (–) Avon Anew Genics  Soho Square/Starcom 19


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