In many instances the ads were placed only a page turn apart. Both major supermarkets use the ads to focus on their fresh food credentials. And both ads include a CSR (corporate social responsibility) angle, possibly as an attempt to offset some of the negative commentary they’ve suffered regarding their relationships with Australian farmers.
Even the way they’ve graphically depicted the price points is spookily similar, with cherries the lead item on each page (Woollies wins the ‘cherries’ price war on this occasion but Coles has the edge on potatoes!). As retail superpowers, of course these ads are seeking to generate a strong call to action. But with the addition of the CSR messages these ads are not just about price comparison.
They also seek to win greater brand affinity from existing loyal shoppers, and reappraisal from new shoppers. Acting quickly and in papers only 2 days later, IGA have also entered the fray, but with an altogether different strategy that seeks to deliver information in order to drive reappraisal and affinity. No price points, just an appeal to those consumers who prefer a more personalised shopping experience.
This is a smart strategy because it elevates the brand and the idea of ‘local’ as being more important than a few cents difference in price point. It’s something that neither Woolworths nor Coles can claim, which allows IGA to carve out its own territory amongst ‘like -minded’ shoppers. Over the years, there have been a number of times we’ve been able to draw direct comparisons between Woolworths and Coles advertising.
For more examples of good retail advertising, click here.