Adwatch (May 2) Top 20 recall: Florette

Florette ad shows clever kitchen routine of chopping and throwing
Florette ad shows clever kitchen routine of chopping and throwing

The salad has ignored platitudes about provenance and 'passionate farmers'

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How do you brand lettuce leaves?

On the face of it, it seems quite difficult to create a brand strategy for a category that doesn’t feel there’s room for a brand at all. The branded lettuce leaf sector isn’t exactly bursting with choice for the consumer and will they buy the notion of a brand for such a basic product?

Thinking about it though wasn’t this once true for something like Orange Juice, a commodity product, with little differentiation. Now we have dozens of brands squeezing each other for market share. Tropicana, Innocent, Minute Maid to name a few.

But back to lettuce and there are probably only two basic positions. How we grow it or what you can do with it. Then imbue it with personality.

The how we grow it is dangerous because it could easily be populated with platitudes about passionate farmers, finest varieties, delivered fresh etc and the Florette website is full of this stuff without any real facts.  It tells you that the brand is a cooperative formed to maintain and develop the relationship between people and the land, and that it gives us products which contribute to our health and well-being. However I left the site not knowing who grows it, where they’re grown or indeed if it even comes from the UK. There isn’t information on the delivery time from field to store and the ‘contact us’ box reveals an email address so I don’t even know where they are. Short of any meaningful credentials they’ve clearly abandoned any notion of provenance or freshness story in the TV ad so they’ve opted for option two, let’s show people making a meal with it in a kitchen. The creative team have taken this strategy and had a stab at making it entertaining. The ‘couple make the meal scenario’ is well worn in food advertising. Think stir-fry, Tex Mex or pasta sauces.

The couple in question go through a clever routine of throwing, chopping, drizzling and bursting open a Florette bag to make a salad. This ad tells me nothing about the lettuce leaves but hey what do I really need to know. Thank god they got the casting right and thank god they’re not smiling throughout. If somebody asked me to name a brand of lettuce leaf I’d be hard pressed to think of anything other than Florette, so from that point of view it’s a success.

Brand strategy verdict: 7 out of 10

Given that this brand doesn’t really have a proper back story to prop up anything else, then this is the right strategy. They have made an ad putting the product at the centre of it, they have made the brand clear and the creative is Ok.

Adwatch: Top 20 recall (May 9)
Latest May-02 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 (–) Coors  VCCP/ZenithOptimedia 58
2 (–) PG Tips  Mother/Mindshare 55
3 -4 Confused.com  Wordley Production, Hornet Inc/PHD 54
4 (11=) Harveys  HMDG/Mediavest 50
5 (–) EDF Energy  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/MPG 42
6 (–) Morrisons  DLKW Lowe/MEC 41
7 (–) Nissan Juke  TBWA London/OMD UK 38
8 -3 Virgin Media  Rapp/Fifty6 37
9 (–) Burger King  CHI & Partners/Initiative 36
10 (–) HTC  Mother/ZenithOptimedia 35
11 -20 The Co-operative  TBWA Manchester/PHD Rocket 34
12 (–) Currys & PC World  M&C Saatchi/Walker Media 32
13 (–) Dreams  RKCR Y&R/Starcom 27
14= (–) Florette  Now/The Media Shop 26
14= (–) Marks & Spencer  RKCR Y&R/Walker Media 26
14= (–) Mini Cooper S  BSUR/Vizeum 26
17= -8 Argos  CHI & Partners/Mindshare 24
17= (–) National Lottery  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/OMD UK 24
19= (15=) Tesco  The Red Brick Road/Initiative 23
19= (–) Renault  Publicis/OMD UK 23

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