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come on down, the price is right November 3, 2010

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, Adwatch, Marketing magazine, Point of view, thought leadership, Waitrose.

I quite fancied writing about the new Kronenbourg & Lemmy ad when I was asked to do the Marketing magazine AdWatch. But this wasn’t available. Shame, I had a lovely thought about the wart. Maybe I’ll do that anyway. So I chose the Waitrose Price Match ad. And wrote this.

Come on down, the price is right.

Waitrose. The last bastion of supermarket one-upmanship. Where you can get gorgeous, yummy, scrummy things and shop alongside people like you rather than those who overstuff their trolleys with frozen goods and over-use the word like in like, everything they say, like.

In Waitrose, only people with children park in the parent and child spaces. In Waitrose, you can buy ingredients to the latest Heston Bloomineckthatscomplicated or Delia “lets’ be having you” Smith gorgeous, yummy, scrummy recipe that they’ve advertised on the telly.

In Waitrose, you can now buy a “thousand everyday branded products” at the same price as Tesco.

Woh! Back up the Ocado truck just a moment. First they bring in Essentials and now they’re price matching? Next they’ll be sending me coupons that I’ll never use, forcing me to scan my own shopping and then they’ll upset Hugh Fearnley Whatshisname by refusing to answer his questions about chickens!

Strategically this is a rather smart move. Waitrose are expanding across the land and in order to secure your weekly shopping cash without the lure of ClubCard points, Heston and Delia won’t win you over on their own. Waitrose’s perception is one of a premium price for a premium experience so an all out price war just wouldn’t be right for the brand and they’d lose.

Those of us who’ve shopped at Waitrose already know the price perception is a fallacy; they’ve always had great products at good value. After all, they are part of the John Lewis Partnership and they’re never knowingly undersold. Whatever that means. And now they’re just telling you about it.

But for those who are hopelessly addicted to the ClubCard and vouchers, bring the prices down sufficiently on key products that everybody knows and you reassure people that Waitrose provides yummy, quality products at a yummy price too. Those yummy products? Heinz Baked Beans, Diet Coke, Hovis bread, Andrex toilet rolls and more. Hardly the stuff of dreams but when you’re a Tesco believer and perceive you’re getting great value no matter what you chuck in your trolley, to cross the divide and give up your ClubCard points is harder than giving up crack. It’s a does what it says on the tin ad and apes the core aesthetics of a Tesco execution so it feels comfortable and reassuring. And it doesn’t have Heston threatening you with liquid nitrogen derived ice cream.

In Waitrose, you can make the break from the clutches of the ClubCard. You can escape the freezer food gluttons. You can get yummy food and everyday branded products at a yummy price. Just don’t like, park in the parent and child spaces, like.

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn |nicholas.r.gill@gmail.com



1. getdancey - January 5, 2011

I’ve shopped at Waitrose when my luxury gland takes control of my motor skills (or whenever everywhere else is a long walk away). I may have shopped there but I’ve genuinely looked down my nose at their prices, assuming that I’m being unknowingly robbed. Somehow my bill is small, but I still feel as though I’m being ripped off for my organic butternut squash/neatly designed cans of basic sweetcorn. This is, perhaps, because I only pay attention that what I spend when it is somewhere I suspect is expensive and therefore have no concept of the cost of food. (“when you’re a Tesco believer and perceive you’re getting great value no matter what you chuck in your trolley” – completely true.)

Waitrose might always have had great products at good value but I still struggle to get my head around this new and very in-your-face signage that I might leave with some change in my purse. Luckily it hasn’t completely removed a feeling of slightly wanky pretentiousness as I swan about the store. That’s the most important bit.

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