Lidl has launched a new campaign about quality as it continues to convince middle class shoppers it is a serious contender.

In April, I wrote about Ryanair’s new campaign ‘Low fares. Made simple’, which poked fun at its own questionable service reputation, highlighting a new, grown-up message and a beefed up experience. I admired the bold, humorous way the brand confronted its Achilles heel, and suggested the real challenge would be delivering on its new promise.

Back then, I asserted that grocery discounters have proved no frills needn’t mean low quality and that winning customers’ hearts depends on positive experience. In July, Kantar reported double digit growth for Aldi and Lidl, and both retailers have since gate-crashed the top ten of YouGov’s brand index. Their sustained success is at odds with the pervading gloom in the grocery sector and so far, Aldi has hogged the limelight with monster sales growth of 35%. However, coming on the back of its own impressive 22.3% growth spurt, Lidl’s new campaign about quality has already caused a shift in awareness, drawing people into a social media-fuelled celebration of Lidl surprises.

Lidl's new ad campaign is called Lidl Surprises

To connect with modern, British consumers, Lidl has swapped its old school, Germanic leafleting for a contemporary blend of experiential, TV, social media and cinema. At the heart of this is a film showing a pop-up farmers market, where real punters were gently hoodwinked into blind testing (then raving about) delicious and low priced culinary treats, which were then unveiled as Lidl’s own.

There’s no rocket science here, but the campaign simply resonates with savvy, digitally connected consumers, and I love the way that in-store POS features some of the best tweets from sheepish new converts.  I’ve overheard lots of water cooler chatter from intrigued observers who have been prompted to reappraise Lidl, and who have become participants in a whole new conversation about a brand that wasn’t on their radar.  

Lidl: no longer just cheap, but also good. To paraphrase Ryanair, “Low Prices. Made Well.”

  • Matt Pye is chief operating officer at advertising and marketing agency Cheil UK