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Woolworths’ return to ‘fresh food people’ tagline splits marketers

Marketing experts are split on the reappearance of Woolworths’ ‘Fresh Food People’ positioning, with one describing it as a backward step and another proclaiming it a return to a proven winning formula.

The comments follow the relaunch yesterday of a 27-year-old crusade which sees the rebirth of the “We’re Woolworths the Fresh Food People” jingle and shows staff preparing a store for opening, in the first brand campaign by Leo Burnett since taking on the account in April.

Former Ogilvy executive chairman Tom Moult tweeted yesterday “dear oh dreary me…Woolworths’ new TV campaign demonstrates that they’re fresh out of ‘fresh ideas'”.

He later told Mumbrella the return of the jingle and positioning proved it was either wrong to ditch the campaign several years ago – or wrong to bring it back. “It can’t have it both ways,” Moult said. “It’s almost admitting ‘we couldn’t find anything better’. It shows the move away was a mistake or that bringing it back is a mistake. It is certainly sub-optimal.”

Moult described it as “breakthrough campaign” when it launched a quarter of a century ago and one that “reframed” the image of a supermarket. But it was one that had run its course and been superseded by developments in the category.

“The world has moved on. Woolworths just seem like a company without a marketing plan who don’t seem in control. There has been so many changes and so many campaigns over the past five years and yet the best they can come up with is a campaign created 25 years ago. There is nothing fresh about it.”

Moult’s views contrasted sharply with those of Andy Lark, former chief marketer at Commonwealth Bank, who described the return of the Fresh Food People message and jingle as a “bright move”.

“Woolworths kept the Fresh Food tagline but there’s a difference between putting a tagline on a piece of work and fulfilling that tagline. What they are doing is articulating the brand promise,” he said.

He described the previous campaign created by the supermarket’s former agency Droga5 as “misplaced” as it failed to demonstrate a purpose and “descended to a transactional message”

“To say, we are here, come and shop just isn’t enough,” Lark said.

The campaign has been backed by a concerted social push with the supermarket producing a series of Youtube cooking videos featuring X Factor host Luke Jacobz, with other videos showing the stories of various producers who supply the supermarket.

 

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