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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Supermarket advertising... Is price everything?

Pack and claim has degenerated to pack and price, a sort of jumbled catalogue paid for by suppliers. The worst of it is that the endless inserts that arrive with a thump in the local paper are largely neutralised by the opposition. The two main groups Pick n Pay and Shoprite/Checkers are producing such similar glossy inserts that if you look quickly, it is hard to tell whose insert you are seeing.
Today's housewife makes her price selection from the shelves, muttering the while about the increases from last month. I think the inserts' overlarge images and the many pages required to contain them all are a massive waste of time and money and some sort of peace accord between the major players would save money for everyone, including customers, if savings were passed on - although this latter is probably a vain hope.

I have commissioned studies in the past to establish housewives' pricing knowledge...

As you probably know from personal experience, women have a good idea of the price range of products that they regularly purchase but these are few, not more than a dozen or so, and to bombard the marketplace with (in the case of Pick n Pay 249 items and from Checkers around 400... I lost count eventually) is asking a lot from a busy woman.

Having said that, the Checkers advertising is a little better. An effort is made to offer a couple of product benefits and some sort of structuring is attempted. This latter suffers from a visual problem as the various categories are presented in white type in red circles...exactly the same format as the pricing, and it all gets a little confused.

Gordon... gutted

In other media Checkers has struck a good deal by using the charismatic Gordon Ramsay to promote their meats and he appears on TV endorsing the products. Unfortunately, however, he has been emasculated and simply stands and delivers the party line.

More creative thinking could have let the real Gordon Ramsay appear, without the bad language of course!! He could have offered a little advice...a real tip or two on cooking. He is a potent tool and more could have been made of him.

In the stores around the meat products, however, Ramsay is depicted but for some reason he is absent from the press ads, and this is a pity.

The third major competitor SPAR achieves the low price story in a single one page ad with a few selected products.

In my opinion this advertising barrage is a big overspend particularly as we get the same material dropped off at our gate on a regular basis.

Smaller product pictures with some benefits and some simple listings to cover other items would do a more efficient job and the money saved could be used for comprehension research and more consumer panels. These would be very useful for this market segment.

About Tony Wightman

Interested in new ways to market and ways to accelerate profits. Have always been a pioneer...and like many missionaries have ended in the pot many times. Strong believer in research and am convinced that many current campaigns have never been tested for comprehension by the target audience..
Tim Pinder
I totally agree with you. It has been the same old pack and price for ever. Does anybody take any notice? I strongly doubt it. You go shopping knowing that some prices are higher and others lower in your supermarket of choice. It all depends on the shopping experience, where the store is located and the local supermarket manager.I have a feeling these money wasting, tree wasting inserts are a bit like the junk mail brigade, if they get a 1 to 4% response, they are happy. What a ridiculous waste of everything. And yet it carries on regardless.Why don't one of you retailers actually dare to try something different for a change? I doubt for a moment that this is going to have a 'the other guy blinked' effect. Go on retailers, be brave. Is the current advertising working? Would trying something different maybe, produce a different result? Please try it and start being responsible.
Posted on 7 Nov 2012 08:57
pumi M
Why not say,for an example " Beef, 15% less this weekend at Checkers" and we will go there and check it out.Advertising soup,beans,underwear,bicycles in one page,where is the sense in that?
Posted on 7 Nov 2012 15:26
The first thing I do when I buy a newspaper, esp the weekend ones, is to chuck all the advertising crap, incl the property stuff, in the bin at the petrol station.
Posted on 7 Nov 2012 15:48
Richard Gee
I agree. The endless printing of brochures is mind numbing. I wish they would state the actual saving in R & c. Endless prices mean nothing without an actual saving.But I disagree about the Ramsay. The TV campaign has got me buying meat at Checkers, even though I shop elsewhere.
Posted on 7 Nov 2012 15:54
Richard Gee
PS: save the tree's advertise on radio.
Posted on 7 Nov 2012 16:01
brian wright
Retailers in particular have screwed up their message mix and have been getting progressively worse, as I would add is a general trend in retail. Of course the ads could always be done differently or better BUT the real issue is understanding of Brands and positioning and personality. Far too many retailers have become price hookers due to the fact that they have neglected their brand spend entirely in favor of being price hookers. Where are the real marketers? And/or are they sufficiently empowered? And do or don't they or their CEO's have the long term vision to understand what they are doing to their brands. Ja Ja we have all heard about the short term results! When you don't have a brand and if you still have a business and are interested in a brand then I for one would be interested. So who can tell me if even Hookers brand themselves?
Posted on 7 Nov 2012 18:46
Rosemary Fowkes
I agree - I toss them in the bin, but, I must say, I live in a rural area where people count their pennies carefully and I have seen, more than a few times, women hauling the glossy map-to-savings out of their handbags and heading for the appropriate aisles. Do they only buy the specials - I don't know!
Posted on 8 Nov 2012 08:03