Woolies launches own-label ad offensive, Droga5 makes Woolies debut

Woolworths has upped the ante in the supermarket own label war with a new campaign to spruik its own label range Select.

The campaign is the first made by Woolies’ new ad agency Droga5, Mumbrella can reveal.

UPDATE April 12: Video removed at request of Droga5 on copyright grounds

The campaign launched this week to take on Coles, which has been aggressively pushing its own label products through its ‘No artifical colours’ and ‘No added MSG’ Curtis Stone-fronted campaigns that broke in February.

The focus of the campaign will initially be on Woolies’ Select Strawberry Jam, Select Tomato Sauce and Select Deli Style Chips. Woolworths also produces own label brands Macro and Homebrand, which are not part of this campaign.

The company’s head of own brand, Gordon Duncan told Mumbrella in a statement: “The tag line for the campaign says it all – “If it’s not selected by you, it’s not selected by us.” With Select Strawberry Jam, viewers will hear how this product has been tested and retested by our customers to ensure it gives a great eating performance every time.”

He added: “Our own brand ranges provide consumers with a strong alternative on quality and price to the national brands and encouraged competition within these categories. As well, our private label brands have given small to medium Australian manufacturers, who supply the lines, the opportunity to grow their businesses.”

Coles is currently ahead of Woolies in the race to expand its range of private label products.

Coles took 23% of its sales from own label products last year, while Woolworths took 18%, an article in The Australian reported this week.

The Woolies business moved from M&C Saatchi to Droga5 after a protracted marketing review in March this year.

Droga5 informed Mumbrella the tactical own-label campaign is not part of the major brand campaign which will be launching in the next few months.


  1. big ears.
    11 Apr 12
    1:15 pm

  2. A watchable ad from a supermarket chain.

    Forgot what they looked like.

  3. kk
    11 Apr 12
    1:16 pm

  4. Hope Droga takes the Woolies business a little more seriously than they do Telstra’s. I doubt Woolies would be pleased if half their ads just never run because Droga don’t bother sending them, but I guess that’s fine for Telstra?

  5. Yuk
    11 Apr 12
    1:20 pm

  6. Horrid

  7. ahs
    11 Apr 12
    1:21 pm

  8. Refreshingly non-generic and somewhat amusing TVC for a supermarket. Wonder if Droga will do to supermarket ads what Goodby Silverstein did for Comm Bank…

  9. Anonymous
    11 Apr 12
    1:32 pm

  10. This looks like a Coles or Aldi ad. Cheap.

    Ahhhhhh. I remember the feel good Woolworths ads (we’re Woolworths the Fresh Food People with fresh ideas for you………………..). But now Coles has spooked out Woolworths I suppose lookalike ads are all we can expect.

    C’mon Woolies – you own the word ‘Fresh” – make use of it!

    Great product as I love their supermarkets. Poor ads.

  11. JezzaJ
    11 Apr 12
    1:33 pm

  12. Very ‘Droga’. Very good.

    Look forward to seeing what else these rock stars come up with!

  13. a
    11 Apr 12
    1:34 pm

  14. smart

  15. Ann
    11 Apr 12
    1:37 pm

  16. The brands will be shaking in their boots

  17. shop girl
    11 Apr 12
    1:38 pm

  18. Nice.

    But when Woollies and Coles deny me a choice and ONLY stock their own brand in a category, I down my basket and head to ALDI where they do it too, but for half the price.

  19. njk
    11 Apr 12
    1:39 pm

  20. This ad sucks. I know it’s part of the feel of it, but the woman looks like a freak, she sounds bossy and annoying and I’m too distracted by her stare to be listening to what she’s saying. This will just alienate average families, not draw them in to their brand.

  21. ad dr
    11 Apr 12
    1:40 pm

  22. I don’t like her at all. Terrible casting and positioning, not all Woolworths shoppers are dowdy housewives. What ever happened to being inspirational!
    Come on brands, stand up and be counted or these guys will ruin competition for all of us!!!!!!!

  23. Scott
    11 Apr 12
    1:42 pm

  24. ‘a great eating performance’………wow…….that’s advertising jargon at its best!

  25. AC
    11 Apr 12
    1:46 pm

  26. Simple, clean, single-minded … and doesn’t rely on production values as the ‘idea’!

  27. Squid
    11 Apr 12
    1:48 pm

  28. Painful. My initial reaction it to want to slap the main character silly. Certainly doesn’t make me want to run out and buy their crap.

  29. Jada
    11 Apr 12
    1:50 pm

  30. Terrible cheap advert. Copying acting skills from Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.


    Not catchy or memorable.

  31. fleshpeddler
    11 Apr 12
    2:01 pm

  32. looks like advertising to the industry to me.

    for an ad that is supposed to talk to a quality message and build values into it’s premium own label offering, the casting, production values and tonality are all down market and distracting.

  33. dave
    11 Apr 12
    2:10 pm

  34. ad offensive.


    and brand tone of voice?? consistency? what? who are woolworth’s?

    oh dear.

    ad. offensive

  35. anonymous
    11 Apr 12
    2:34 pm

  36. unadulterated crap…does an audience actually want to watch this stuff…No!

  37. Sarah
    11 Apr 12
    2:48 pm

  38. A subtle slap in the face of screaming Curtis and his old hack crooners and dancing monkeys. Great delivery by talent. Nice.
    Still hate Woolies though but at least that’s just about what they are doing to my brands not their ads.

  39. Anonymous
    11 Apr 12
    2:48 pm

  40. That’s it??? No need for any creatives on this one.

  41. Matt
    11 Apr 12
    2:50 pm

  42. Typical strategy of focusing on its Select Range. Unique but typical… if you know what I mean.

  43. Anonymous
    11 Apr 12
    2:52 pm

  44. Every creative in the world must be bashing their heads they didn’t come up with that genius idea. It should get every advertising award there is out there, it’s Droga5 so that’s 90% of the way.

  45. Shocked and surprised
    11 Apr 12
    3:26 pm

  46. I am holidaying in the country and saw the ad. First I thought there was no way that is the Woollies brand – I thought maybe the local TV station had mocked up an ad. Anyway, it is consistant with country TV ads – pretty bad. There goes the brand and high standards. Maybe it should have been in black and white too LOL

    I am sure the next ads would have to be better from Droga?

  47. Macsmutterings
    11 Apr 12
    3:33 pm

  48. my god you lot are in a bad meed today

  49. Shopper 1A
    11 Apr 12
    3:46 pm

  50. Oh such a disappointment. That woman is horrible. I wanted it to be so different considering it was Droga 5. Now it’s just a big humph!!

  51. Rex
    11 Apr 12
    3:54 pm

  52. God, back to work after my Easter holidays, I hate being here, let’s knock the crap out of this ad. Most of the comments have actually missed the point. This is purely tactical, not for the brand. The Aldi affect is finally striking home. As a project I think it is well executed and believable. Quite rare these days.

  53. Lisa Q
    11 Apr 12
    4:34 pm

  54. I imagine the brief was pretty dam product focused. I think they’re very different and as a result, I like. As for mum, I know lots like her.

  55. Henry
    11 Apr 12
    4:50 pm

  56. Wonder if they’re using co-op dollars to pay for this one?

  57. LOL
    11 Apr 12
    5:04 pm

  58. Patronising crap… Clearly written by young gun creatives on the cutting edge…
    Keep up the good work.

  59. Matty
    11 Apr 12
    5:19 pm

  60. Re-laaaax everyone. It’s an ad for jam, and no doubt a ‘soft launch’ for D5 and Woollies. It was probably even presented in the pitch, and Woollies wanted to get something out to market while they’re producing the bigger work.

    Feel free to praise/tear strips off the first brand campaign when that launches.

  61. jo@do.com
    11 Apr 12
    6:52 pm

  62. This is poor..
    She sounds mentally unhinged, which makes the ad slightly disturbing.
    Lazy self-indulgent tripe.

  63. Generic Branding Yay!!
    11 Apr 12
    7:17 pm

  64. In reality there is no need for Coles or Woolworths to advertise with the duopoly and price cuts they could go back to Dollar Dazzlers and we’d be none the wiser.
    It’s interesting that our business survives on brands, and brands being built, and we tell our client’s we will make audiences ‘love your brand’. When generic brands take over the shelves it will and, already does impact our business.

    Personally think the ad is ok. But Woolworths being different doesn’t mean you’re ‘fresh’.

    The most informative ad bites that Woolies do or did were the market updates….I actually kinda liked them. Learnt how to choose a melon properly from those little babies.
    Good luck whoever has the business…just remember we rely on brands in this business….so sell your select sox off cause I won’t be buying into it.

  65. Danon
    11 Apr 12
    8:49 pm

  66. Is the vintage feel intentional or accidental? The art direction feels very dated and not very fresh. Like the humour though.

  67. fraser
    11 Apr 12
    10:02 pm

  68. a poor mans Aldi but sadly not as funny

    Aldi Granny ad – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoBN_5JIe_M

  69. NotMyDog
    11 Apr 12
    11:54 pm

  70. The best part is the tag line for the campaign – “If it’s not selected by you, it’s not selected by us.” As Gordon Duncan points out,… – but how could he agree to such low food values. I buy select Apricot jam at Wollies in Northbridge,… and it looks a lot better than how they show it here. Is this meant to be un appealingly fashionable like the beer ads,… (they are usually funny!) this is just poor looking food matched with annoying woman. i am sure this was just a starting glitch to the campaign.

  71. Sacred cows
    12 Apr 12
    8:40 am

  72. I see lynchy hasn’t put this on the blog. I wonder why. Some droga 4.99’s best work

  73. Conflicted
    12 Apr 12
    9:07 am

  74. I can only assume that D5 have no FMCG clients. Everyone knows the supermarkets plan is to drive out / screw the brands that have been supporting them for years, replacing them with private label. “Select” crosses many categories, and if I was a FMCG client, I would be asking questions about how long it will be before they are in my space…

  75. Anonymous
    12 Apr 12
    9:18 am

  76. The non-appearance of the first work by Droga5 on their newest and biggest client on Campaign Brief is revealing. For me it confirms CB’s oft suspected bias. Shame, Lynchy, Shame!

  77. anonymous
    12 Apr 12
    9:42 am

  78. …bring back Maria and Stavros

  79. Groucho
    12 Apr 12
    10:31 am

  80. This is a wind up isn’t it?

    I mean really, no client/agency team would seriously do this for a major brand would they?

  81. nickatnights
    12 Apr 12
    10:34 am

  82. Please Woolworths stop trying to be Aldi and stop trying to be Coles.

    You are the market leader.

    You act like a follower.

  83. Anonymous
    12 Apr 12
    10:51 am

  84. When I saw it on TV I actually thought it was a good ad. It’s different, and made me listen. But trying to actually sell home brand ads at a time like this (when all the brands are complaining) just reminded me of the issue, and made me hate Woolworths even more than I did before. I’d rather buy crazy Dick Smith’s pretend St Dalfours instead. Or actually, just St Dalfours.

  85. Ben
    12 Apr 12
    12:25 pm

  86. Go Spirko. Jam it.

  87. TR
    12 Apr 12
    12:33 pm

  88. Money for jam. Nice work if you can get it.

  89. rob
    12 Apr 12
    12:35 pm

  90. I question the strategy of advertising these products – consumers won’t change supermarkets for a home brand in my opinion, but they are a captive audience once they get in the store so Woollies can promote the crap out of these products while punters cruise the aisles, generally in the only way they know how, via price.

    And with Coles and Woollies already on the nose with farmers, consumers, media and brand suppliers, why remind us of all that is bad via advertising generics? Better to promote an aspect of your business (Fresh food, hello!) that takes our attention away from what you are doing to the community around you.

  91. David
    12 Apr 12
    2:33 pm

  92. Droga dross.


  93. bandit
    12 Apr 12
    2:34 pm

  94. You know what isn’t “selected” by me? These vile homebrands taking away my choice and making things harder for our farmers. This ad is insulting and only makes me angrier about the homebrand strategies.
    I’ve never bought them and never will. This ad has only strengthened my position.

  95. Sarah
    12 Apr 12
    6:34 pm

  96. The whole ad has a grimy unwashed feel…

    And if you’re trying to sell me on the quality of your home brands, a grimy unwashed look, is not the way to do it.

  97. Tom
    13 Apr 12
    7:48 am

  98. so this is the result of lifting the creative bar in retail advertising … forgive us for not noticing the nice wallpaper Woolworths

  99. jed
    13 Apr 12
    9:32 am

  100. Droga 4.99

  101. Legal eagle
    13 Apr 12
    10:50 am

  102. Could you please explain the copyright issue?
    Be general rather than specific if that helps.

  103. Robin Hicks
    13 Apr 12
    10:55 am

  104. Hi Legal eagle,

    According to Droga5, “the talent in our Select TVCs are not cleared for internet usage”. Which is why we’ve had to remove the video. Sorry about that. We’ll re-post the video as soon as we get rights cleared.

    Robin – Mumbrella

  105. pecarto
    13 Apr 12
    12:12 pm

  106. Not like Droga to pull anything of the net. Very curious.

  107. Groucho
    13 Apr 12
    1:27 pm

  108. Bet they wouldn’t have pulled it if it was getting positive comment. Rock and a hard place really, surely the client will see through the ‘cleared for internet’ explanation just like the rest of us.

  109. Legal eagle
    13 Apr 12
    1:51 pm

  110. Does mumbrella require notification that all talent appearing in TVC are approved for internet use before they are put on your site?

  111. Robin Hicks
    13 Apr 12
    3:20 pm

  112. Hi Legal eagle,

    Not usually, no. But we usually source an ad from the agency that made it. In this instance we sourced the ad from a third party (Ebiquity) and were unaware of any rights restrictions.

    The Woolies Select commercial was not press released to us by Droga5, we found out about it via another source.

    Robin – Mumbrella

  113. Legal eagle
    13 Apr 12
    5:48 pm

  114. Robin
    If mumbrella sources an ad from a third party, shouldn’t you seek clarification as to whether talent rights extend to the internet. But, and perhaps more importantly, if Ebiquity charge for the ad aren’t they making commercial gain from the talent’s performance without the talent’s approval and for a medium the talent has not approved?

  115. Tony
    14 Apr 12
    6:33 pm

  116. Forget your industry opinions
    My wife, mother of two young boys saw the ad, looked at me and came out with an unprovoked ‘that is so bad’ And she never comments on ads!

  117. Anonymous
    15 Apr 12
    12:38 pm

  118. Hate this ad with horrible drone of a woman subjugated by her smug offspring. So dreadful it makes me cringe. Not fresh, not engaging. Sorry, just my opinion as a mother who would certainly not want to be viewed as a slave to her children.

  119. Jure
    16 Apr 12
    10:16 am

  120. I have a problem with the fact that the talent says ‘…I dont work for Woolworths…’
    I’m pretty sure they do! I doubt they did the ad for free. That is blatant false advertising. And it’s a pretty average ad.

  121. Robin Hicks
    16 Apr 12
    2:26 pm

  122. Hi Legal eagle,

    Sorry for the late response.

    You certainly have a point. We should check about rights for the web more thoroughly.

    Although on this occasion I did give Droga5 a heads up that we were running the story on the new Woolies ad. I also sent them a link to the commercial on our YouTube channel – and received no objection at this point from Droga that the talent rights had not been cleared for the internet.

    It was more than a day later that I was told by the agency that the rights had not been cleared, and subsequently took the ad down.

    Ebiquity didn’t charge us to use the ad.

    Robin – Mumbrella

  123. Rushdie
    17 Apr 12
    2:18 pm

  124. Quirky used to mean put damaged looking people in your ads. That was a long time ago. You gotta be smarter than that now. And anyway, mainstream Australia hates quirky shit. Big mainstream brands are hard because firstly, the creatives have to give up their egos. There goes most of the “top” agencies. This stuff should be left with the likes of Big Red.

  125. Andy
    3 May 12
    7:51 pm

  126. Why are people using the word “talent” in reference to this ad!!!

  127. Ad hack
    3 May 12
    9:19 pm

  128. i have to agree with the sentiment of droga’s ‘creative ego’ taking reign here. It has more of droga’s mood and tone rather than woolies’s brand tone. But i guess it’s why a client would buy droga in the first place.