Karmarama lands £70m Lidl advertising account

Accenture Interactive-owned agency beats Leo Burnett, VCCP and WCRS.

Lidl: latest work by TBWA\London
Lidl: latest work by TBWA\London

Karmarama has emerged victorious in the review of Lidl’s advertising account that began in August and was handled by AAR. 

The agency beat Leo Burnett, VCCP and WCRS to the business. Karmarama will take over the account from TBWA\London in March.

The retailer spent £70.2m on media in 2017, according to Nielsen.

TBWA was appointed by Lidl in February 2013 and tasked with scaling up the brand’s advertising ambitions. Since then, the supermarket has almost doubled its market share of UK grocery sales from 3.1% to 5.6%, according to Kantar Worldpanel data. However, it has not kept pace with rival discounter Aldi, which has more than doubled its share from 3.6% to 7.6%.

The agency's festive campaign for Lidl this year, "Upgrade your Christmas", depicts people who have gone to extremes in their preparations for the big day. Last week, it rolled out outdoor executions that appeared to cheekily impose Lidl ads on top of those of upmarket rivals Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

Karmarama’s appointment marks a swift return to supermarket advertising for the Accenture Interactive agency, which split with Iceland this autumn after four years. Iceland moved its advertising in-house and, for its Christmas campaign, chose to repurpose the Greenpeace film "Rang-tan", created by Mother.

Claire Farrant, marketing director at Lidl, said the brand had been "bowled over" by all four agencies in the pitch, but said Karmarama "demonstrated clearly at the final pitch and through the process, their strategic thinking and how that could be delivered creatively".

Ben Bilboul, chief executive of Karmarama, called Lidl a "brilliant challenger business".

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