Scrolling through our industry’s news pages last week, I noticed a story on ‘The Drum’ telling of discount retailer Lidl’s, festively fearless poster campaign. The report brought to light the supermarket’s efforts to present itself as a cheaper, quality laden Christmas food alternative to its higher-brow competitors,Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

A series of Lidl OOH ads, each featuring the top-end supermarket food styling we’ve become all too familiar, has been overlaid with ‘ads’ from Lidl promoting its cheaper prices.  Furthermore, to ensure the message is firmly received by customers, the ads have apparently been conveniently placed near the aforementioned rivals’ stores.

Pushing the proposition, ‘Big on Quality, Lidl on Price’, the cost disparities between popular products from Christmas puddings and baklava mince pies, to free-range turkey and gingerbread gin liqueur have been compared sparing all subtleties, between supermarkets.

Which begins to beg a few questions as to whether Lidl is being naughty or nice with its 2018 Christmas campaign? Could it be that the retailer is doing us a kindness by advising on how we could save a few pounds on our festive fare this year without suffering bitter disappointment in terms of quality produce? Or is the impish campaign an audacious, nay, wayward rebel tactic that simply isn’t on?  Also, I have to wonder… is Lidl actually allowed to do it?

No doubt we shall find out if the ASA has some words to say on the matter in the fullness of time. And it will be interesting to discover whether or not the tactic actually works: Will Christmas sales rise to the occasion for Lidl due to the flurry of stolen Waitrose regulars seeking unparalleled value on seasonal pastry products? Or will M&S’s pudding profits plummet?

One thing’s for sure, Lidl has definitely found a way to get its USP noticed and its product lines talked about during a time of the year when traffic on the media highway is beyond congested.

Take a look at the story for yourself on the Drum’s website…and while you’re at it, see what pastry pranksters Greggs did in fully utilising Fenwick’s festive window display. Inspired!