So let's get this out there straight away. I chose to write about the Aldi ads because I like them. I liked them before this table alerted me to them. I saw them on YouTube, which is how most people see good ads these days, and I saw them because someone sent me a link to them saying that they liked them.
So, good work Aldi, you extracted maximum value out of your creative, and that's precisely what the brand is all about.
The brief for this campaign would appear to be exceedingly clear. 'At Aldi we offer great value on branded goods, and even better value on our own-label goods, which you'll probably like just as much anyway.'
It's a brief that grocery retailers tend to reflex to in tough times, so no great strategic leap there. This is not in the league of Sainsbury's 'Feed your family for a fiver' or 'Essential Waitrose', but it is, nonetheless, very clever.
More price-conscious shoppers, such as those targeted by Aldi, tend to fall into two camps. The first group looks for the cheapest products regardless of whether that means own-label. The second wants savings but demands the reassurance of big-name brands.
So, Aldi is talking to both. 'If you like brands, we've got great savings; if you think own-label is pretty much as good, we've got even bigger savings.' All bases covered.
But then we get to the execution. The concept of using real people fills one's heart with dread, and the extraordinarily low production budget fills one's eyes with tears; but the final outcome fills one's person with joy.
The clever agency has given us real people the Victoria Wood or Gavin & Stacey way. Not so much real people, as real characters. Likeable, funny, wry and witty characters.
They don't shy away from showing the product, they sit happily alongside the yellow price captions and they deliver their little eccentric punch-lines with dry aplomb.
There are lots of them. Old ladies, old men, kids, young women and a cat. Some are funnier and edgier than others, but all give Aldi a warm and human face, which the brand has lacked in the past.
These are short, clear, concise and rewarding price ads for a value retailer. They talk to austerity Britain, but with a tiny bit less creative austerity than other price-matching pound-crunching supermarkets. And they've turned up on my YouTube screen, they've turned up on this Adwatch list and I bet Aldi's products turn up in lot more homes than ever this year, too.League Tables
|Adwatch (November 30): Top 20 recall|
|1||(–)||Direct Line||M&C Saatchi/
|3||(–)||Aldi||McCann Erickson Manchester/
Universal McCann Manchester
|4||-5||Argos||CHI & Partners/Mindshare||44|
|5=||(–)||Waitrose||Dare, Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
Manning Gottlieb OMD
|5=||(–)||Danone Activia||RKCR Y&R/MEC||40|
|7||-2||Asda||Saatchi & Saatchi/Carat||38|
|9||(–)||Giorgio Armani –
|11||(–)||Tesco||The Red Brick Road/
|14=||(–)||Sainsbury's||Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/
|14=||(–)||McDonald's||Leo Burnett/OMD UK||17|
|17||(–)||Braun Series 3||Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/
|18||(–)||Bell's Whisky||Adam & Eve/Carat||14|
|Euro RSCG Worldwide/