Ocado launches above-the-line ad drive to express 'broad' appeal

Ocado: campaigning to broaden its customer base
Ocado: campaigning to broaden its customer base

Ocado has partnered with Northern & Shell until the end of the year as it increases its above-the-line advertising to appeal to its "broad range of customers".

The partnership kicks off with a 'Big Brother' tie-up with Ocado replacing Morrisons as the official shopping partner of the reality TV show, while the online retailer will also feature in the Daily Star’s 'Big Brother' coverage.

Lawrence Hene, director of marketing and grocery retail at Ocado, said the retailer will also run activity between now and the end of the year with other Northern & Shell properties, including OK! magazine and the Daily Express.

Hene denied that the 'Big Brother' activity was an attempt to target a new customer base, claiming Ocado already had "a relatively broad range of shoppers today" and reports of the brand being a preserve of the well-off was a "myth of the media".

Two-thirds of first-time shoppers at Ocado said they did their regular shop with either Tesco or Sainsbury’s and only a "few per cent" came from Waitrose, according to Ocado’s own research.  

Hene said the reality show's traditionally young audience was not the primary draw, despite the average Ocado customer being aged between 30 and 50, because the tie-up was about "driving awareness across the board".

Ocado has decided to increase its above-the-line advertising in order to bring in new customers, after working to make its service better in terms of ease of use, range and price. 

Hene said: "Ocado is effectively the best-kept secret in grocery and we don’t want that to be the case."

Despite Ocado engaging in more traditional media buying, Hene still expects online marketing to remain its largest investment. 

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