Enterprise Marketing & Promotions Management


By / December 2016


Aldi Supermarkets recently launched a new TV advertising campaign that made me do a double take because it is so surprising, so edgy and sophisticated, so risqué and so good.

We all know Aldi as a limited selection, all private label, bare bones store that features low prices as its number one selling point.  Its shoppers are predominantly lower income, older Caucasians.  80% of them cite price as the primary reason they shop there, with only 1% mentioning selection. Are these six new commercials targeting their core demographic or is Aldi aiming to attract a whole new target audience?

So, what does the new campaign look and sound like. It’s a classic side by side comparison of national brands with Aldi private label brands with the price difference right there in the foreground.  Delivering the copy points are on screen spokespersons (various diverse actor/ customers).  The camera never moves and each spot ends with two slogans (“You like them both, but love our price”.  “Aldi. Simply Smarter Shopping”).  TV advertising 101. Right? Wrong!

What makes these commercials so different and arresting is the casting, the copy, and the settings.  In five of the spots there’s a room in the background with people who relate to the spokesperson and, in two of them, a person who is a visual punch line.

There’s a woman who trades in her dull husband for a hunk, who obviously satisfies her sexually. Another overweight, unattractive single woman (I know I’m being politically incorrect) tells us about her wild singles parties as a half-naked man sneaks out of the house. A wife, who is part of a mixed marriage, is visibly annoyed with her annoying husband. Another wife is trying to signal her doofus husband that she is pregnant and he doesn’t get it.  A harried mother, with screaming children behind her, is pitching Aldi’s white wine as she swigs it down and says, “It’s going to be a white Christmas.  Very white”. Finally, two African American kids look and sound like they just walked off the set of “Blackish”

These are like the hilarious spots you see for hip products that make you laugh but don’t make you remember the product.  In Aldi’s case, you can’t possibly not remember the product and the message.  And, you want to see them again to pick up the nuances you missed the first time.

I think Aldi is looking to expand their customer base to appeal to a younger, more affluent demographic.  The ones who don’t normally like commercials that sell. They want authenticity. And that’s what they’re getting.  Commercials that spoof selling, but sell like crazy and are  nothing if not authentic.  But what about Aldi’s regular customers?  Who says you have to be young and rich to appreciate really creative advertising?

See the Aldi spots here.

Contributed by Murray Skurnik, Retired Mad Man
More than half a century in advertising as a copywriter, radio/TV producer and creative director. Big agency stints at Benton & Bowles, Ketchum McCloud & Grove and J. Walter Thompson. Thirty years of experience in the supermarket business, creating campaigns for A&P, Winn-Dixie and Price Chopper and a dozen others.


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