The Co-op chain of supermarkets is undergoing a transformation.
The Co-operative Wholesale Society, its parent company, is refurbishing
shops and sending staff on extensive training courses. And it has just
launched a pounds 5 million campaign through Partners BDDH to modernise
the brand and position the Co-op as a business with the values of a
modern family. This marks its first ad-vertising for 20 years (Campaign,
’We are well aware that we don’t have a fashionable image and this needs
to be addressed,’ says John Bowes, the general marketing manager just
five months into his job at CWS.
CWS claims to be the biggest consumer co-op in Europe and has interests
in the farming, funeral, travel, banking and insurance industries. ’We
are a different kind of organisation so we need a different way of
expressing our ideas,’ Bowes says.
One way he feels this has been achieved is by using relatives of famous
people in the three television executions. The commercials feature Scott
Stringfellow (Peter’s son), Amanda Rayner (Claire’s daughter) and Sue
Beadle (Jeremy’s wife) each adopting the persona of their famous other
half. Bowes wants to portray the idea that Co-op does not just think of
families in the nuclear sense. ’It’s a family business and families
change,’ he says.
The ads also promote the store’s loyalty card and draw consumers’
attention to the clarity of labels on products. ’We already have the
most advanced labelling system in the UK grocery industry,’ Bowes
claims. ’We believe the public has a right to know what they’re
Two more television ads will launch before the end of the year,
featuring relatives of celebrities. These will be supported by radio ads
and a national press campaign in the broadsheets with a World Cup
How have the stars’ relatives coped with their acting roles so far? ’I
think people will have to watch the ads and judge for themselves,’ Bowes