The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – Asda vs. Lidl

Discussion
Asda's "Best Christmas Ever"
Nov 30, 2017
George Anderson

With Lidl, the German hard discount grocery chain, now going head-to-head with Walmart in the U.S. market, we thought it would be interesting to match the two in this week’s global version of the RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge.

Asda, a division of Walmart, is the third largest grocer in the UK trailing Tesco and Sainsbury’s. The chain’s “Best Christmas Ever” spot follows a young girl to a Willy Wonka-like factory where a host of seasonal delights, all available at Asda, are being created. In keeping with the classic rock trend influencing many commercials this year, the spot includes Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” as a lively backing track.

Lidl, which has stumbled somewhat in its U.S. entry, holds a nearly five percent share in Great Britain, according to Statista. The chain, combined with Aldi, has brought an increased focus on price to the UK grocery market in recent years, putting pressure on a wide variety of competitors from Asda to Tesco. The retailer’s “Beautifully Normal,” which pokes fun at idyllic Christmas scenes (“Come on, a pony and a polar bear?”) tells viewers it is time to “embrace the mess makers, the chaos noise, awkward moments, last minute rush and embarrassing dancers” as part of “doing Christmas our way.” The spot’s #beautifullynormal backing track is not recorded by a 1960’s or 70’s super group but by the Santa Clara All Stars.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:  What is your critique of Asda’s “Best Christmas Ever” and Lidl’s “Beautifully Normal” commercials? Which do you think is the more effective of the two? Would these spots work for a U.S. retailer?

Braintrust
"[The Asda commercial] is creative, heartwarming and actually focuses on food."
"Sweet movies, mediocre ads. Both suffer from the distraction of movie making."
"Lidl’s “beautiful normal” was a fun and joyful ad, and had the right combination of Christmas magic, but nostalgia is a powerful, and potent force."

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10 Comments on "The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – Asda vs. Lidl"


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Art Suriano
BrainTrust
In looking at both ads, neither one knocks me out as making me want to shop either brand. Once again, it’s more about a contest of the creative out creating the creative. What I did like about the Asda ad was that the creators of the commercial were smart to put the name Asda on the top right of the screen and keep it there throughout the commercial. At least as I watched the spot, I knew the brand that created it. I’m not a fan of using popular artists’ songs for soundtracks in commercials because too often we recognize the song, but we do not make the connection to the brand using it. The second spot I found to be incredibly contrived attempting to be funny. It did nothing to support Lidl and by the time we got to the end of the commercial having Lidl pop up for three seconds wasn’t enough to capture my attention. Ads are about frequency because nothing works once and only after the customer sees an ad at… Read more »
Meaghan Brophy
BrainTrust

Have to go with Asda on this one. It is creative, heartwarming and actually focuses on food. From the Asda commercial, I get the message that I could find imaginative and exciting holiday treats at their store. The Lidl commercial could be for anything.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

As a member of the generation who grew up watching the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, on cable, the Asda ad has the right combination of nostalgia and magic, without overwhelming the viewer with brand messaging. Lidl’s “beautiful normal” was a fun and joyful ad, and had the right combination of Christmas magic, but nostalgia is a powerful, and potent force.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

Sweet movies, mediocre ads.

Both suffer from the distraction of movie making. So I return to an observation I made last week. If you take the product (brand, retailer) out of the ads and they are still just as enjoyable, they are bad ads. That’s the case with both.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I’m really not crazy about either one of them for many of the reasons folks always note — not brand focused, too much production, etc. That said, if I had to pick between the two I guess I’d break with the pack and go with Lidl. The Asda spot is well produced, but I didn’t see how it connected to the customer and I hated the use of the Fleetwood Mac tune. I kept waiting for Bill Clinton to pop up wearing an elf costume. The Lidl spot reflected more of the reality of most peoples’ Christmases — the chaos, the mess, the confusion and the spontaneous moments of zaniness that occur when overstimulated adults and children share a brief but intense time together. But again, I’m really not a fan of either spot.

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

I liked both ads. But neither knocked me off my feet. But I have to make a choice; and I thought the Lidl ad was a little more to my taste. I liked the way everyone was involved and enjoying the time of year. But show me again tomorrow and I might prefer Asda’s commercial.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
BrainTrust

Neither one moves me. Some entertaining video but little to relate to the brand or a reason to shop. When the commercials are finished, the viewer needs to draw the connections between the brands (Asda and Lidl). Very cute, very unfocused. No winner for me.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

I’ll go with Asda: the presentation is just too spectacular to ignore, plus it seemed to actually bring some product in (though shoppers are apt to be disappointed that the store doesn’t look like THAT!).

The Lidl spot started off strong, but then detoured into another song-and-dance routine … enough with off-Broadway, already!

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

Asda wins this one. The food was the center of attention and the food shots were excellent. Also, that their name was present throughout the ad … terrific! I always knew who the brand was. Kudos and my 2 cents.

W. Frank Dell II
BrainTrust

Keeping in mind that European market is different than here, I found both commercials good. Asda was more Christmas focused, with seasonal food, thus a strong but indirect message. Lidi was fun to watch, but could be done for any family oriented occasion, not just Christmas. I give a slight edge to Asda

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"[The Asda commercial] is creative, heartwarming and actually focuses on food."
"Sweet movies, mediocre ads. Both suffer from the distraction of movie making."
"Lidl’s “beautiful normal” was a fun and joyful ad, and had the right combination of Christmas magic, but nostalgia is a powerful, and potent force."

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