Iceland is ditching celebrities for “real mums” in its adverts as the grocer accelerates its drive to take marketing in a “new direction”.
The frozen-food specialist has recruited the likes of Kerry Katona, Michael Bublé and former X Factor winner Stacey Solomon to star in its TV ads over the past decade, but will now turn its attention to ordinary people in a bid to reconnect to its core customer base.
Iceland made the decision after its contract with its latest celebrity face, former pop star Peter Andre, came to an end.
In an interview with Retail Week last August, the grocer’s founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker admitted: “As we’ve found our new direction, we are using Peter more as an ambassador.”
“Shopping behaviours have changed and customers value realness more than ever.”
Nick Canning, Iceland
Iceland’s ‘Power of Frozen’ campaign will now feature real shoppers as it attempts to counter what Walker called an “in-built prejudice against frozen food”.
The retailer’s UK managing director Nick Canning told The Telegraph: “I think the use of celebrities by supermarkets is a cyclical business – whether it’s Ant and Dec for Morrisons or Sharon Osborne at Asda, you are seeing a move away from them.
“They do a great job of getting right to the point, so I don’t think this will mean the end of it. However, shopping behaviours have changed and customers value realness more than ever.”
Canning added: “Using these adverts we will show the power of frozen and that actually whether it’s seabass fillets or asparagus spears, it will be better quality frozen.
“In the same way that McDonald’s has been tackling some of the myths and misconceptions around its products, we will be doing the same.”
Iceland – which posted a 25.7% slump in EBITDA to £150.2m for the year ending March 2015, having seen its market share shrink to 2% amid the relentless rise of Aldi and Lidl – is also launching a vlogger campaign alongside the Channel Mum YouTube channel.
The videos will be created in a bid to harness the impact of the so-called ‘recomumdation’ phenomenon, which suggests that almost two-thirds of mothers trust information from other mums above all other sources.
Iceland claimed it is the first major UK retailer to launch a vlogging campaign using real mums, in the “innovative” partnership that kicked off today.
The campaign will challenge perceptions of frozen food by featuring a host of new Iceland products including quinoa, lentils, a Mediterranean vegetable medley and salmon parcels.
Channel Mum founder and former Netmums owner Siobhan Freegard said: “Mum vloggers don’t just ‘show’ like conventional advertising, they recommend, demonstrate and bring you into their family, so consumers feel that warmth and know they are getting a truthful assessment, not just marketing spin.
“They are trusted above words as viewers can see them and know they are authentic.”