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Advertising Effectiveness of Supermarkets During Coronavirus

by Maria Flood in Case Study

Case Study

There is no doubt that COVID-19 is having huge implications for advertising, perhaps the challenge being the unknown. However, some brands have found their feet just as quickly as they have been swept up by the waves of social change. In particular, our supermarket brands have been some of the quickest to respond to the current situation but how effective were they and what can we learn from them? Here are some results from those campaigns which ran in our print titles.


COVID-19 Response Campaigns

As an essential service to our communities, our supermarkets had to focus on what they can say and do, not just whether they should save spend or not. At a basic level, supermarkets need to let everyone know about their individual measures to ensure a steady flow of customers and safety for their staff.

With weekly sales of our print titles up 8% week on week*, it’s clear that people are turning their attentions to the national papers of note for trustworthy and relatable content.

Two Irish supermarkets ran full page ads last week in the Irish Independent within the first 10 pages of the paper. The two supermarkets chose to focus their message on national pride and togetherness.


“Supermarket A” had an average action score 139% higher than the average ad in the Irish Independent.

“Supermarket B” had an overall effectiveness score 95% higher than the average ad in the Irish Independent.

The tone of action within their campaign will surely stand to them given their effectiveness and brand results. After all, people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

One reader said: I was very impressed by the ad and also very proud to be Irish. In times of great need and change, we can celebrate in private for now. I think the message was very clear. Staying apart, staying alive.


Mother’s Day Campaigns:

Next we take a look at another two of our Irish supermarkets and their Mother’s Day campaigns. Like the two brands above, they were also running similar messages to their customers around COVID-19.

“Supermarket C” ran a tactical Mother’s Day campaign with a full page print ad in the Sunday Independent. When compared to a previous seasonal campaign which they ran earlier this year they saw a 20% increase in “appeals to me” and a 14% increase in those who said they would “visit website”

Brands may not save the world, but their marketing can create new solutions to problems we have never faced. With parents looking for ways to entertain kids indoors, ‘Supermarket D’ ran a creative solution to give mum a minutes’ peace this Mothers Day. The campaign resulted in 47% saying that they would participate in the competition and 53% feeling inspired or enthusiastic about the ad.


The information on ad effectiveness is from a RAM Reader Panel Surveys for Aldi, Lidl, SuperValu and Dunnes Stores which took place in March 2020. *All print figures relate to paper sales from March 9th-15th V 2nd-8th 2020. If you would like to know more about our audience figures or measuring ad effectiveness at this time, please get in touch with us at or through your dedicated account manager.

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