Recent Woolies campaign displays power of distinctive brand assets, finds Forethought research

Research from marketing analytics and strategic advisory agency, Forethought has shown that Woolworths recent ‘Today’s Fresh Food People’ TVC displayed the power of distinctive brand assets, with nine in ten surveyed Australians connecting the ad to the brand in a test.

The campaign, produced by M&C Saatchi features a ‘green’ execution, alongside assets and messaging focusing on the freshness and quality of products being far more recognisible than the recent Coles ‘Together to Zero’ spot from DDB, when 800 Australians were shown de-branded stills from each TVC.

Both supermarket giants produced the TV spots in July, highlighting a commitment to environmentally progressive policies and practices. Forethought affirmed that neither company commissioned the research.

The research was undertaken to test the effectiveness of both spots, and Forethought noted that it had flagged prior to the study that showing only still assets may disadvantage Woolworths as it removed its ‘highly recognisable audio asset/jingle’, however it commented that “the strong utilisation of other distinctive Woolworths brand assets overcame this hurdle, with the commercial scoring very high on both recognition and brand association”.

Following a number of questions regarding recall and recognition, the research found that Woolworths was more considerably more successful in utilising its brand assets. Those being colour, gingham check uniform and images of ‘on message’ produce, meaning that almost nine in ten consumers were able to easily recognise the brand.


88.8% of respondents correctly attributed the Woolworths spot to the brand, with 7.5% unsure, and only 1.2% attributing it to Coles. The Coles spot was only correctly related to the brand by 20.9% of respondents, with a majority of 59.8% unsure who was behind it, based on the stills.

Forethought global CEO Darren Stein said: “Woolworths’ consistent and clever use of distinctive assets and recognition triggers were clearly rewarded as shown by the results in the study. Their success on this occasion is also amplified by the relatively weaker results from their major competitor.”

“This is an evidence-based reminder that the use of distinctive assets, nurtured over time can produce stunning results, not only against newcomers invading an established category, but also as is the case here, in the largest, longest standing and most competitive of marketing arenas”.

Darren Stein was appointed as Forethought’s first global CEO this year, joining from OMG’s Annalect, where he was also CEO.

This year, Coles chief marketing officer, Lisa Ronson told Mumbrella, “our goal is to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket and trusted retailer” following the launch of the ‘Together to Zero’ spot.

In results released last month from Roy Morgan, Woolworths and Coles again were found to be Australia’s most trusted brands.


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