Sainsbury's unveils 'step change' in advertising with new food campaign

Sainsbury's has unveiled an energetic and joyful food-focused campaign that marks a "step change" in its advertising strategy.

The spot, "Food dancing", which launches today, features a diverse cast of real people joyfully dancing in their kitchen while cooking. It is set to a specially-created track that will be released on Spotify. The ad ends with the phrase "#fooddancing is living well."

It is the first work from the supermarket’s new ad agency Wieden & Kennedy, which replaced Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO after 35 years last year.

Sainsbury’s director of marketing planning and propositions, Mark Given, said the work was "the most interactive campaign we’ve ever done" and said it marked a "step change" in the supermarket’s advertising.

He said: "We’ve been sharpening our strategy for the past six to nine months. It’s an immensely competitive sector, lots of companies are spending a lot of media investment doing similar stuff. We wanted to find a distinctive way of talking about food."

When people think of Sainsbury’s, Given said, "we want them to think about the sheer joy and energy of cooking and food, and that we’re the supermarket that supports that."

The concept of "living well" – Sainsbury's long-term brand promise – will continue to be the ongoing campaign platform for the supermarket, which will look for different ways to engage with consumers around key food moments. For example, it could release content around Valentine’s Day or Easter.

One of the drivers of the shift in strategy was to create work that was much more reflective of the modern communications environment, said Given. Sainsbury’s agencies (AnalogFolk, Gravity Road, Seven, PHD and Drum) worked collaboratively on the multi-channel campaign.

The team started working on the ad last September. A production bus drove around the UK setting up cameras in people’s kitchens to capture a range of content for different channels. For example, Sainsbury’s will release 20 GIFs on Giphy and a longer "music video", as well as the 60-second TV spot, press, out of home, in-store and direct marketing materials.

Sainsbury's is also creating the first Spotify Branded Moments sponsorship in the UK, sponsoring the "UK Dinner" playlist.

The TV spot was created by Scott Dungate and Sophie Bodoh, directed by Siri Bunford through Knucklehead. PHD is handling the media planning and buying.

Yesterday, Campaign revealed that Sainsbury's top marketer Sarah Warby was leaving the business in February. 

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