IPA Effectiveness Awards 2007: Gold Award - Waitrose

Title: David vs Goliath: The rematch
Client: Waitrose
Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy
Authors: Mary Tucker, Andy Nairn, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy
Media used: TV, national newspapers, magazines, radio, interactive

In a nutshell: An evolutionary and ethical communications approach generated £99.2 million incremental profits over five years and an ROMI of £5.57 per £1 spent

Summary: This paper reveals how Waitrose evolved its quality-driven communications strategy, to include an ethical dimension. Using TV, press, radio, advertiser-funded programming and in-store advertising, among others, the campaign set out Waitrose's product quality stories within a bigger, ethical picture. For example, one ad promoted Waitrose's citrus fruit by highlighting its support for the South African farmers who grow them. This comms approach has generated £99.2 million incremental profits over five years and an ROMI of £5.57 per £1 spent, proving that an ethical approach can be financially rewarding too.

Judge's comment: This is an impressive story about how to behave in an increasingly competitive environment where everyone is trying to copy your approach. The Waitrose story is consistent and compelling and the paper is difficult to fault. Waitrose has successfully defended its territory despite sustained attack. It has cleverly adapted an existing strategy to stay out in front, and maintained a consistent quality in the execution of its communication. This is a good case, clearly demonstrating the role communications has in keeping it out in front.

Chris Harley Martin vice-president, marketing and innovation, GSK Nutritional Healthcare.