the grass is greener on the internet

Things are better when you do them together
August 3, 2009, 10:13 am
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The Australian supermarket playground is notoriously small. Woolies and Coles are the big bullies, currently at a stalemate for who can build the biggest sandcastle.

So if you can’t win on your own…get a partner.

I don’t mean another shopping chain – the ACCC is already turning some of its attention to some of the tactics used to keep smaller players like Aldi out.

No, I’m referring to the recent ads which seem to be co-financed by Woolworths and Continental (Unilever).



The ads themselves are largely unremarkable; I couldn’t find them online. Essentially, there’s a product demo for Continental, followed by a message that you can find the products at Woolworths.

++ In a recession, particularly when you’ve just undergone high capital investment, partnering up might help stretch that ad budget further.

-+ Sharing ad time might confuse viewers, or lose the message completely. On the other hand, it’s more subtle and modest.

— As a retailer, promoting a household brand could encourage consumers to buy it…elsewhere.

Neither *seem* to be short on ad spend, with Continental’s ‘three-thirtyitis’ campaign** (DDB work I believe) and the re-done Woolworths ‘fresh food people’.

Perhaps Woolies feels that it needs to raise its publicity, since rival Coles backed winning horse ‘Masterchef’. This campaign certainly takes a similarly indirect approach, though whether it has helped flailing Coles remains to be seen.

How's that for co-branding...I didn't even have to edit the colours

How's that for co-branding...I didn't even have to edit the colours

++ Coles should benefit from the greater opportunities that arise from TV shows, such as recruiting judge George for product development.

— Two’s company, three’s a crowd. Just from viewing the show, you can tell that Coles isn’t the only organisation that put money behind Masterchef.

[I realise that I always seem to be commenting on Woolworths and what they’re doing, not Coles. Perhaps that tells you something…]

**I suspect that some of the ad budget has come from lowering production costs, if the Pasta Flakes Pasta & Sauce is anything to go by.

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