Intermarche Finds Its Groove With An Old Hit

Intermarche Finds Its Groove With An Old Hit


Many a driver knows the torment of being stuck behind a slow vehicle on a long, windy rural road – and France has a lot of long, windy, rural roads. In Intermarché’s “Sur La Route” ad for its Le Drive online shop-and-collect service, a woman finds herself in that annoying situation as she heads to the hypermarket to pick up her groceries. Blocking her way is a slow-moving farm truck, whose middle-aged driver is motoring along rocking out to an 80s disco hit on the radio.

After vain attempts to overtake, the woman resigns herself to the situation and puts her own radio on. Soon both drivers are singing along in their separate vehicles. And when she gets to the Intermarché our protagonist finds that’s not all they had in common. The farm truck is delivering produce straight to the store the woman is collecting groceries from.

The ad works very well – at 4.6-Stars it’s by far the most successful of the Intermarché ads we’ve rated in Test Your Ad. The brand is delivering an actual message here that resonates with an audience for whom provenance is vital – when we say our produce is locally sourced, we really mean local. But while that message certainly lands, it’s not the only reason this is a very strong ad.

The ad is full of what we call “right-brain features” – elements of execution which, as Orlando Wood reveals in his Look Out book, are particularly effective at capturing people’s “broad-beam” attention – the kind of attention that helps people notice ads and in turn gives brands the chance to build positive long term mental associations.

These elements which capture broad-beam attention are things like strong characters, “between-ness” (dialogue, glances, gestures and non verbal communication), melodic soundtracks and wider cultural references. These also tend to be the things which make an ad more entertaining. In the case of Intermarché’s commercial it’s clear how much good work the Jean Schultheis song which soundtracks the ad is doing.

“Confidence Pour Confidence” has nothing to do with the storyline lyrically (it’s the confession of a selfish lover) but it works as a nostalgic element but also as a way to unite the characters and create those vital moments of between-ness. Without it, the ad just wouldn’t work. It’s a great example of how to use music well in an ad, and one of the best French commercials of the year.