Marketing Week has just released a brand audit of Tesco, which demonstrates that perception of the brand is improving, following a gradual decline in recent years and the impact of the horsemeat scandal. Tesco Buzz, Index and Impression scores all improved markedly between mid 2012 (when Wieden + Kennedy was appointed) and January 2013, when the horsemeat issue affected Tesco's reputation. Recent scores since January show that the steps Tesco is taking in response are having a positive impact. Here's what Marketing Week said:
Tesco may have just reported its first annual profit fall for two decades but it does appear CEO Philip Clarke is right when he says the brand’s efforts to overhaul its advertising and marketing are already having a positive impact.
Perception of the brand is slowly improving, according to YouGov Brand Index tracking measures, following a gradual decline in recent years and the impact of the horsemeat scandal.
Following the issuing of its first profit warning in January 2012 Tesco’s brand perception fell dramatically across all measures, according to Brand Index, particularly Buzz which registers the balance of positive and negative things the public has heard about a brand.
To address the negative perception and falling sales, CEO Philip Clarke set out a series of improvements across six main area of the business including store formats, improving the quality of its products and services and overhauling marketing and branding.
Elsewhere, Wieden + Kennedy replaced Red Brick Road as Tesco’s creative agency in May and was tasked with generating love for the Tesco brand.
Tesco’s Buzz, index and Impression scores all improved markedly between May 2012, when W+K was appointed, and January 2013.
The positive gains made in the 12 months after setting out the overhaul were all but wiped out in January when Tesco was the first retailer to reveal traces of horsemeat had been found in a number of processed beef products. Tesco has scored consistently below its rivals in terms of Buzz, Impression and Recommendation scores in the last 12 months and was by the far worse affected by the horsemeat scandal than its rivals. It is, however, starting to recover.
The horsemeat scandal saw Tesco focus its communications efforts on being transparent about the issue in an attempt to limit the damage.
YouGov’s BrandIndex shows Tesco’s Buzz score has improved greatly in the last month, indicating the supermarket’s efforts to communicate its position over horsemeat has had some success.
However, Tesco’s Buzz scores have been predominantly below 0 since January 2012 and while it is gradually improving there is a way to go before it regains the largely positive Buzz ratings it historically achieved.
The supermarket’s Index score, which aggregates all six measures YouGov polls such as Impression, quality, value, reputation, satisfaction and wether they would recommend it, remains below its pre-horsegate score but is gradually improving.
Clarke said last week at the supermarket’s full year results that the brand advertising being rolled out from Wieden + Kennedy is already “putting a warmer and more engaging face” on the brand. Tesco’s Christmas advertising, the first major TV activity launched with the new agency, helped buoy the brand’s scores across all BrandIndex measures.
The gradual improvement to Tesco’s BrandIndex scores shows it is slowly moving in the right direction and the steps it is taking to be open and clear over the horsemeat scandal as well as rebuild its personality through advertising are having a positive impact.
Read the full article here.
Easter weekend is a natural point at which to scoff buns and chocolate, yes, but also to pause and consider how the year 2013 is going for us so far at Wieden + Kennedy London.
Winning new business was a key goal for us in 2012. We succeeded in bringing in a number of new clients, including Schweppes, Finlandia, Maximus, Southern Comfort, FUZE tea and arguably the win of the year, the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco. We landed the Tesco account in September and at that point we shut up shop for new business so as to focus on existing clients and make sure we were not so busy that the quality of our work suffered.
Christmas 2012 and the first few months of 2013 have seen the fruits of that focus, with new work breaking for Honda, Lurpak, Tesco, Three, Visit Wales and more. Here are a few recent highlights at W+K London:
- We were delighted that Tesco was able to report its best Christmas sales results for three years, which led to a 3% rise in share price. Our Tesco Christmas campaign was described by Retail Week as ‘top ranking’ of all supermarkets’ efforts in terms of popularity on social media; they credited it with giving Tesco a ‘significant boost’. The results were certainly an encouraging start to our work with Tesco.
- In February the One Club teamed up with the American International Auto Show in Detroit to name its list of the ten greatest car ads of the last 25 years. Our work for Honda took the first and second places. And we helped Honda to launch the new Civic across Europe with a campaign that transcended language, despite/because of being based around a palindrome.
- As Britain grumbled its way through recession and winter, we launched a new campaign for Lurpak celebrating the power of “good, proper food” to put fire in the nation’s bellies.
This work also went down well at Campaign. “This, surely is why we are all in the business. A brilliant idea when it launched and one that just gets better with time and development. This latest execution is beautifully crafted, with the same perfect tone of voice we’ve come to expect from Wieden + Kennedy.”
AdWeek described it as “visually astonishing… another sensory masterpiece”.
Around the same time, one of our earlier Lurpak posters was inducted into the Outdoor Hall of Fame. (It’s a bit like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but with posters.)
- We created a psychedelically colourful London Transport campaign for Lactofree to encourage grumpy commuters to say yes to breakfast.
Gazillions of views, umpteen shares, a million remixes, Fleetwood Mac back in the charts - Socks the pony smashed Twitter, topped the world’s viral video charts and appeared on national news from the USA to Japan. The Mail wrote: “As the government's austerity programme rolls on, and the UK tightens its belt, Britain is a nation in need of something to smile about. And it seems a Shetland pony moon-walking to the strains of an '80s pop tune could be just the thing. An advert for mobile internet firm 3, which sees a pony tapping its hooves to Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac, has been lauded as 'the best thing ever' by fans on Twitter.”
Moreaboutadvertising.com asked “Is W+K London’s ‘little pony’ ad for Three the most successful UK campaign ever?”
And went on to say: “Agency Wieden+Kennedy London is sometimes criticised for trying to be original and different with everything (often a rather painstaking process). But who else would be so brave?” *agency accepts criticism, blushes collectively at praise*
- Our print campaign for Tesco setting out their response to the horsemeat scandal was described as “poetry” by the Standard and compared to a Shakespearean sonnet by the BBC, who said the copy had "an incantatory quality, in the way it repeats certain phrases, trying to cast a spell on the reader with words”.
- We helped launch a new initiative for Tesco – the Price Promise. Here’s how it works: when you shop at Tesco, online or in store, they will compare your basket against the prices at Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. If your shopping would have been cheaper there, Tesco will give you a voucher for the difference for up to £10. The Price Promise campaign has rolled out nationally on TV, posters, press, online and in-store. Price Promise has been described as a potential ‘game changer’ by Retail Week.
No wonder the first quarter of the year seems to have passed so quickly – we’ve been busy.
2013 is shaping up to be another tough year for the advertising industry. I’m not particularly positive about prospects for the business in general (though UK ad spend is forecast by some experts to grow, I don’t necessarily see this translating into increased agency revenue), or the UK economy - forecasts seem to be generally gloomy - but, based on the first quarter of the year, with more hard work, continued focus on our people and the quality of what we do, and the support of some amazing clients, I am very optimistic, with custard on, about the outlook for Wieden + Kennedy London.
If a geo-located online treasure hunt for decorated virtual eggs with great redeemable prizes isn't for you (and we would ask "why on earth not?") you can instead celebrate Easter the more traditional way. Just like those in our latest TV spot for Tesco. With friends, family, feasting and a good old Easter egg hunt.
We've also created some mouthwatering press to inspire seasonal inlugence.
Happy Easter from all of us to all of you.
Easter. It's the biggie after Christmas, right? When we can briefly return to those self indulgent days of feasting and family fun. Just for a long weekend at least. All with the added bonus of chocolate - mostly eggshaped and with plenty to go around.
We've worked with Google's Street View to ensure the Tesco Easter bunny pays us all a visit this year; so wherever you find yourself this Easter, there will be festive eggs aplomb. Literally tens of thousands of them.
Yes, it's an online treasure hunt. #FindTheEggs is live!
The interaction works like this:
* Get hooked up here on your phone or computer
* Your location is then detected - by GPS or tapping in your post code
* You navigate your way through your local streets, hunting down the virtual eggs on screen
* And when you've sought out three, you're a winner!
* Then you can redeem your chocolate prize from Tesco
And if you spy one for the 50 golden eggs? Well you'll be saying hello to a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 this Easter.
The Easter bunny may need a helping hand so, to share the fun around, you can plant eggs for friends and family to find. And share the free chocolate as you go...
Trust. A word we've heard a lot from Tesco lately.
It's something we're working on closely with the Tesco people so, as customers, we can all have the confidence that what is on the label is in the product. Nothing more, nothing less.
And whilst trust around food quality is essential, trust also applies to the cost of the shopping we buy. In these tough times, value is a hot topic.
Tesco has taken this on board. Above and beyond the promotions, offers, deals and price cuts already available which, if we're honest, can sometimes be confusing.
So today Tesco launches 'Price Promise', its cost commitment to the nation.
Here's the crux: when you shop at Tesco, online or in store, they will compare your basket against the prices at Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. If your shopping would have been cheaper there, Tesco will give you a voucher for the difference for up to £10. When you shop in store, you get your voucher at the checkout. When you shop online, you'll receive it by email within 24 hours. Trustworthy and transparent; you will know where you stand.
The commitment on price covers branded goods (around 50% of the average supermarket shopping basket), own-label products and even some price promotions. It means we will no longer need to shop around for the best price deals because the lowest prices will be covered.
Three Price Promise TV spots launched today featuring talking vegetables to communicate the initiative. Obvs.
There's a pineapple:
And please meet Mr Olio:
This is all backed up with lots of communication in-store, where you get the benefits of the deal.
More information on the Tesco Price Promise is available here.
"Shakespeare knew a thing or two about stirring emotions.
Copywriters have been slyly plundering the rhythms and cadences of his verse to impart epic qualities to the products they are selling since the early days of advertising.
But there is one kind of ad where literary flourishes, and outpourings of emotion, are normally in pretty short supply - the full-page apology.
Taken out by corporations in crisis, when they can't get their message out any other way, they are the advertising equivalent of a cold shower.
They tend to stick to basic information. If they resort to emotion at all, it is sorrow and remorse.
When horsemeat was discovered in its value burgers in January, Tesco took out a full page ad in several national newspapers.
It was a fairly standard example of the genre: "We have immediately withdrawn from sale all products from the supplier in question, from all our stores and online… We and our supplier have let you down and we apologise."
But the supermarket giant was not finished there.
A promise to get to the bottom of the horsemeat issue has escalated, through a series of double page advertisements in national newspapers, into an apparently heartfelt vow to change Tesco's entire way of doing business.
Specifically, to improve the way it treats farmers and other suppliers and simplify its supply chain.
There is a strangely poetic quality to the ads, in the way the sentences don't reach the end of the lines and the language employed has echoes of a sonnet.
"We know that all this will only work if we are
Open about what we do.
And if you're not happy, tell us.
This is it.
We are changing.
"What's been happening lately has made us
Look at the way we do things.
Made us realise that we need to do our bit
To change the way our food industry works."
Tesco insists these ads are not deliberate attempts at poetry.
"We're using the ads to keep our customers updated with the steps we're taking, as well as highlighting some of the commitments we've made, such as sourcing all our fresh chicken from the UK from July," says a spokesman.
Others beg to differ.
"It resembles poetry in the way that it is laid out", says poet Matt Harvey.
"It gives the words a portentous quality. They are reaching for gravitas, and probably achieving it.
"It is spot on iambic pentameter in parts. You could find line four in a Shakespearean sonnet."
It Starts With Us has "an incantatory quality", in the way it repeats certain phrases, trying to "cast a spell" on the reader with words, adds Harvey, a former poet-in-residence at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
"It is a love letter to their customers. It is saying 'things haven't been easy, I have had a look at myself, I have had a look at our relationship and I know I can change'.
Christopher Burlinson, an English lecturer at Cambridge University, sees parallels with the work of 17th Century metaphysical poet George Herbert, who used the patterns of the text on the page to underscore the meaning of his words.
"The text is shaped like an arrow. It points downwards on the page. The lines get shorter as you near the end. It is all pointing to the Tesco brand."
Tim Johnson, chief operating officer of corporate crisis management specialists Regester Larkin, says the ads are a "highly innovative" example of a company turning a PR disaster to its advantage.
"They have got to rebuild their business and try to re-engage customers and the City. I think they have done it really rather brilliantly," says Johnson.
"The story then becomes about how they are responding rather than the issue itself. And that really is clever PR," adds economist Andrew Simms.
It's interesting to see how people are reacting to this campaign. Maybe it's because, as suggested by Marketing long copy is infrequently used these days. Maybe it's because it's unusual for a large retailer to talk directly to its customers in this way. And of course maybe it's our employment of Shakespearean language and metaphysical form that has caught people's attention. Anyway, we're very pleased that an approach initially dictated by the need to act quickly in response to events has developed into some thought-provoking work.
We developed this ad for Tesco, which ran in the press at the end of last week and over the weekend.