Adwatch: Quirky comedy pays off for Lidl

I always get Lidl and Aldi mixed up. It's understandable, as they actually have lots in common.

  1. They have simple, four-letter brand names that look like the leftover letters from a game of Scrabble.
  2. Both have logos that look like they were designed by Mr Tumble from CBeebies.
  3. They both sell affordable groceries on the high street, unashamedly championing cheap prices without
    waffle or pretension.
  4. They definitely know who their audience is, and don’t patronise them.
  5. And they both produce something I think no one would have expected: nice advertising. Much like the cracking Aldi campaign of the past couple of years, Lidl arrives at the table with its own brand of irreverence.

I like this work for many reasons; I look beyond the slightly clunky production values (it’s Lidl, not Fortnum & Mason, after all) and marvel at the cheek of this campaign.

My favourite spot pokes fun at the ultimate middle-class pastime: the dinner party. A Nuts in May-type tree-hugger, invites our man to strip naked and dance around a bonfire after dinner (I’m sure this sort of thing goes on all over Surrey of a weekend).

Since our man is still reeling from the news that the tree-hugger bought all of his posh plonk from Lidl, he doesn’t hear him. Cue awkward silence. From tree-hugger, not us.

It’s super-simple and funny, like a great Fast Show sketch of old. I love the pregnant pauses and awkward silences. The acting and casting are ace. It might even spawn a new playground catchphrase, "What did you just say?" I’ll even forgive the punny endline, "Lidl surprises", although anyone who has worked with me will know I’m a sucker for one, so what’s to forgive?

There are two other lovely spots that accompany this – one about a marriage break-up, and a second featuring a young woman telling her mum she’s knocking off a pensioner. Together, they add up to a great campaign and a platform for a brand that knows what it stands for.

At a time when other big chains are producing bland, safe work around price it is nice to see something with a point of view and work that really stands out.

Moreover – even though I’m only guessing, here – I reckon it was probably made on a much smaller budget.

Funny what a funny idea can do, isn’t it?