Co-op Strolls to Summer Success

Co-op Strolls to Summer Success


When brands have “new news” to deliver in an advert they tend to make it the focus. It’s an understandable approach to take, but not always viewer-friendly. Most brands are keener to tell audiences what they’re up to than audiences are to hear it, and it takes a certain amount of humility to admit that.

Good for Co-Op, then, whose new ad from Lucky Generals announces a new initiative – soft plastic recycling bins for those tricky bits of plastic like bread bags – but does so in a way that puts the viewer first. It’s a very sweet 60 seconds of video which follows an old man called Tom as he gets out and about – it’s implied for the first time in a while. The word “Covid” isn’t mentioned but this is very much a Covid-era ad, celebrating the re-opening of Britain in a very low-key way. As such, seeing Tom enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of an English summer is genuinely touching.

The ad takes a risk early on, with a silent few seconds following Tom around his lonely house. It could so easily have set a sad tone which the ad might have struggled to recover from. But thanks to a great choice of soundtrack – Labi Siffre’s sunny classic “It Must Be Love” – there’s no doubt in viewers’ minds that things are looking up for Tom (and the rest of us).

It’s a confident bit of film-making that’s happy to go at a moderate pace and leave the actual message for the last 10 seconds, as we see Tom arrive at his local Co-Op store, his destination all along, and put his bag in the recycling bin. There’s a strong central character, a lot of between-ness, a melodic soundtrack and even a bit of dialogue at the end – all features that engage the right brain.

Co-op are rewarded with a strong 4-Star ad which also manages to land exceptional Brand Fluency and short-term Spike scores. Despite the unusual structure of the ad, it definitely gets the branding right. There’s still a little bit of sadness for Tom and his slightly lonely life, but on the whole this is a very successful piece of work, and a smart way to communicate information which could easily have felt dull.



Creative agency credit: Lucky Generals