Iceland AXES its Christmas TV advert: Supermarket’s ‘no brainer’ move to plunge the ‘millions’ of pounds it would have spent on a festive marketing campaign into slashing prices | Daily Mail Online

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Iceland has cancelled Christmas TV ads with a claim it intends to spend the millions of pounds it will save on curbing prices.

The boss of the budget chain says the decision was ‘no brainer’ given the cost of living squeeze and its impact on struggling customers.

The move is in sharp contrast to rivals, ranging from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl through to the mainstream supermarkets, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis who are estimated to be spending an astonishing £9.5 billion between them on lavish festive marketing campaigns, often involving celebrities.

Iceland’s executive chairman, Richard Walker, explained the decision not to release a Christmas TV ad, saying: ‘As a business we were faced with a decision. Do we spend millions creating and sharing a TV advert or do we invest the money supporting our customers during the cost-of-living crisis?

‘This was a no brainer for us. I am grateful that as a family-run company, we can make the decisions we believe are right for our business and our customers.’

Last year, Iceland’s TV commercial featured the Slade frontman Noddy Holder (pictured)

John Lewis’ 2023 Christmas Advert features a wannabe Christmas tree named Snapper

Last year, Iceland’s TV commercial featured the Slade frontman Noddy Holder and actor Brian Blessed, while the year before they offered a spoof of a John Lewis commercial featuring an alien crash landing on earth at Christmas.

The retailer has released consumer research which it said demonstrated shoppers would prefer retailers use their millions to support struggling customers rather than on glitzy commercials and social media.

The study found two in three – 65 per cent – agree supermarkets should do more to support customers this Christmas.

It also found 64 per cent want supermarkets to offer discounts and offers, and 40 per cent believe bonus card/saving point schemes will help relieve the seasons financial pressures.

Mr Walker said: ‘We have chosen to invest in keeping prices low for our customers – including our Christmas Bonus Cards Saving scheme – giving shoppers £15 back when they top up £100, offering a turkey roast dinner bundle for 8-10 people for just £30, slashing prices on over 1,000 household staples and expanding our £1 value range – offering hundreds of freezer fillers for just £1 or less.’

Despite Iceland’s decision, experts at the Chartered Institute of Marketing insisted that retailers continue to see festive TV commercials and marketing as crucial to capturing the cash of shoppers.

Chief executive, Chris Daly, said: ‘After a challenging year, this year’s Christmas adverts aren’t just a nostalgic reflection of days gone by – they’re bold statements of intent that aim to reflect consumer sentiment.

‘In times of seemingly endless bleak news, Christmas is the time that brings the UK together like no other. Investing in Christmas is imperative for the big brands.

Aldi’s Christmas advert tells the story of Kevin the carrot and is marrated by acting legend Jim Broadbent

Boots has launched a heartwarming Christmas advert that focuses on a young girl and her mother travelling to the North Pole to give Santa a gift 

‘One thing that’s clear is that the appetite for festive promotions is alive and kicking.

‘Contrary to some predictions, advertisers are expected to spend a record £9.5bn this Christmas season in an effort to stand out from the crowd.

‘However, with the stakes higher than ever, the pressure on brands to succeed is immense, and one mis-step can invite huge scrutiny.’

The estimate of £9.5bn on Christmas advertising, comes from the Advertising Association and industry analysts Warc. 

Approaching £7bn of this is through online marketing and around £1.5bn on TV ads.

Further research conducted by the Advertising Association found 48 per cent of adults credit Christmas ads with helping to spark gift ideas, while 70 per cent of young adults (25-34) find Christmas ads to be the ultimate festive mood booster.

Matt Bourn, communications director, Advertising Association, said: ‘Whether you’re a big high street store or a small local business, Christmas advertising is essential to attracting customers, helping to inspire ways people can enjoy the festive season and supporting jobs across the UK.

‘The ads we will see this year will be among top contenders for some of the best ads worldwide, going onto win awards and reinforcing the UK’s position as a global hub for advertising, creativity, and storytelling.’

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