In 2016, Aldi UK and its longstanding agency McCann featured a talking carrot in its ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas-inspired ad – and the rest is history. Over the years, Kevin the Carrot’s world has expanded with bigger adventures, extended family and additional characters like Ebanana Scrooge. His recurring appearances during the festive season have made him a lovable Fluent Device for the retailer who drives real results.
“Entertainment and humour are so powerful for us,” said Darren Hawkins, Group Strategy Director, McCann Manchester. “When developing a new ad featuring Kevin, we are aiming for a positive emotional response and a memorable story that will enable quick attribution for the Aldi brand to keep customers returning and win over new shoppers.”
With the campaign now in its seventh year, McCann and Aldi are continually challenged with keeping the narrative fresh and delivering an ad that the public will enjoy. With the 2022 Christmas season coupled with a controversial World Cup and the country’s cost-of-living and energy crisis, there were additional things to consider.
“How we show up amidst current events is very important. This year, we needed to strike the right chord regarding the World Cup and the difficult financial challenges that people are facing,” said Jamie Peate, Global Head of Retail Strategy and Head of Effectiveness for McCann Worldgroup
McCann works months in advance to brainstorm creative ideas that will top the previous year’s Christmas ad. The team decided to address the World Cup in a fun, playful way to deliver an entertaining teaser and full-length ad.
To gain real audience insights on the latest concept for Kevin, McCann once again leveraged System1’s Test Your Ad platform. It assigns a Star Rating based on viewers’ emotional responses to ads using a 5-Star scale. Only 1% of ads achieve 5-Stars, an exceptional result that supports long-term brand building.
“We start early with testing at the animatic stage, rather than leaving it until the end,” added Peate. “It really helps to get feedback on what’s working, how it’s working and what might be missing or misfiring.”
In addition to the World Cup, there are other cultural references, like the classic Christmas movie Home Alone, plus more than a few funny moments interspersed with shots of Aldi’s delicious offerings.
It’s the perfect mix of nostalgia, entertainment and humour, as the ad lands 5.9-Stars, the highest score possible on Test Your Ad. In addition to this exceptional brand building result, the Spike Rating of 1.5 means the ad also has impressive short-term sales potential.
Aldi is also the first Christmas advertiser to score 5-Star ads four years in a row and the first to snag a 5-Star Christmas teaser with this year’s clever nod to Nike’s 1998 World Cup “Airport” ad. To add to the accolades, Aldi was named Brand of the Year at the 2022 Marketing Week Awards and won Gold at the 2022 IPA Effectiveness Awards. In September, the retailer also overtook Morrisons to become Britain’s fourth-biggest supermarket group.
"Working with System1 has given us (Aldi and McCann) the confidence to consistently build on and invest in a successful and creatively effective idea"Jamie Peate Chief Brand & Marketing Aldi
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