Move Over Bunnies – Aldi’s Chocolate Dog Wins Easter


Easter 2024


Aldi revolutionised Christmas advertising – so what they do at Easter is more than usually interesting. Their Easter ad starring a loveable animated pup is another 5-Star winner for the supermarket brand, but it points up the differences between the two holidays, both in how the public see them and how brands approach them.

Easter and Christmas are both chances for breaks, for seeing the family, and for eating a lot of delicious food. So they’re both firmly on the advertising radar. But for brands, the similarities end there. Christmas has accumulated a host of traditions over the decades and centuries, giving it a huge, rich visual and cultural vocabulary for brands to work with.

But Easter doesn’t have a lot of non-religious iconography beyond Easter bunnies and eggs. There aren’t classic Easter songs brands can borrow for campaigns. There is no real Easter equivalent of Father Christmas, and people don’t light up their front gardens with neon eggs. Most of all, over the last two decades a kind of cultural permission has evolved where people expect brands to pull the stops out and deliver something spectacular at Christmas. But consumers just aren’t anticipating an Easter advert in the same way.

So, unsurprisingly, brands have taken a different tack at Easter, concentrating not on emotional, brand-building epics but on short, transactional sales-driving ads spotlighting product deals. Aldi’s ad superficially falls into this category – an animated puppy walking through a sequence of great short-term deals. At the end, though, we realise that the puppy itself is one of those deals – a chocolate Easter dog Aldi are selling.

Aldi understand that even a 20-second aid aimed at boosting sales is an opportunity to make people feel good. The short-term impact and the long-term impact go hand in hand. This ad succeeds on both fronts, with exceptional short-term Spike and a 5.2-Star Rating putting it in the top tier of retail ads. In fact, it achieves the rare “triple whammy” of exceptional Spike, Star and Brand Fluency ratings.

The key is the dog – an animal guide gives the ad a focus and the dog steals the show as it sambas its way through a selection of eggs before wagging its tail at a massive roast dinner feast. Animals are generally helpful to ads, but for sales-focused spots they can be something of a distraction – not in this case, as the dog is the product.

In future, Easter ads may be blockbuster propositions just like Christmas ones. But they don’t need to be to make consumers feel great and to move the sales needle. For now, Aldi are showing how it’s done with short feelgood ads that also get tills ringing.

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