The third-biggest supermarket in the UK, Lidl is on a mission to make good food accessible to everyone so that customers do not have to compromise on quality while navigating the cost-of-living crisis. ‘Big on Quality, Lidl on Price’ is the supermarket’s promise and news brands are central to communicating this to customers with its bold, brave and boundary-pushing approach.
Achieving cut-through in a busy news environment
Spending upwards of £15 million a year, Lidl’s investment in news brands is a core part of its media strategy, using them multiple times a week, throughout the year. This approach enables Lidl to deliver on its communications strategy and to deliver on shorter term objectives.
The supermarket uses the influence, reach and creative potential of news brands to great effect; whether through weekly display formats to encourage footfall in store, high impact front half takeovers to announce price cuts or longer form content to educate readers on Lidl’s value offering.
All its activity is planned to have standout and impact while remaining contextually relevant and most importantly, getting ahead of competitors.
However, there is a daily battle to stand out in a busy news environment, so Lidl has to be smart in its planning to achieve genuine cut-through and generate impact. Lidl gives its news brand partners a very clear challenge: use all of your channels to increase trade to Lidl stores in a way that commands attention and prompts action.
That action comes from a variety of key messages that the supermarket needs to communicate at any one moment. Lidl uses news brands to focus on the full breadth of its messaging: price, range, quality, sustainability and the benefits of its app, Lidl Plus.
The supermarket also uses news brands to be dynamic and reactive with its messaging; having a media channel that Lidl can access one day prior to live date is vital to its approach.
Using trusted environments to drive stand out campaigns
However, in an era of fake news and declining trust in public domains, the impact of Lidl’s messaging and calls to action are dependent on the quality, editorial environment of news brands. Its focus on quality content very much shapes Lidl’s media partnerships and placements with news brands.
Over the past year, those partnerships and placements with news brands have been varied, exciting, impactful and have delivered true ROI for Lidl. The following examples are just a glimpse of how Lidl has used news brands in the last 12 months to deliver against its strategic goals.
Lidl has partnered with The Sun for over four years, with the relationship evolving to ads running on pages four, five and six each week alongside headline news. This ensures impact, fame and stature.
Working with news brands, Lidl has used contextual placement to deliver against its cost-of-living crisis messaging. Lidl needs to show that it’s on the side of its customers, so its partnerships are used to juxtapose its integral value offering with editorial expertise.
And Lidl used news brands to unveil the most unlikely Christmas celebrity, the Lidl Bear. Playing into OTT celebrity culture, Lidl placed the adorable but expressionless bear in breaking news, turning it into a viral sensation.
This is truly bold, brave and boundary pushing work with news brands and shows Lidl to be the worthy winner of Newsworks’ Advertiser of the Year.
As the previous 12 months of campaigns show, Lidl is using news brands with more creative and innovative flair than ever before. The results speak for themselves, with a market share growth up from 6.1% to 7.1%, the most rapid growth experienced by the brand in the last five years. Meanwhile, total sales have jumped by 18.8% to £9.3 billion. The effectiveness of Lidl’s campaigns in news brands continues to be tracked by the brand, at its highest ever point in terms of return on investment.
To cap it all off, the Lidl Bear continued to spread Christmas cheer later in the year, winning at Campaign’s Media Week Awards — a perfect way to celebrate a stellar 12 months for the Newsworks Awards advertiser of the year 2023.
They have embraced news brands as a channel — really comprehensive in terms of the breadth of activity they ran and use of innovative formats.Neil Harrison, head of media, Virgin Media O2