Friday, 27 March 2015

Intermarché and Ugliness as a Virtue

This is a slightly older campaign to talk about, but if you haven’t already heard about the Intermarché “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” campaign by Marcel in France, you should really check it out.

It’s a very simple idea at its heart: promote the sale of ugly vegetables, in order to save money and resources for Intermarché, and for its customers. The less appealing produce was sold alongside the standard fare – except clearly marked at 30% off the normal price. Obviously this was quite an easy sell in a way, as everyone wants to be thriftier in the current climate, and it appeals to our environmental side as well.

More to the point, it was a witty, fun campaign, and captured the imagination. The campaign ran with jokey slogans about the produce which underlined the fact that, ugly or not, this was still good food that doesn’t have to be wasted: “An ugly potato makes beautiful mash”.

Intermarché is an up-and-coming brand, a plucky outsider, and this helped establish it as a brand that cares for its customers. 13 million people saw the ads for free on social media, and it wasn’t just a viral phenomenon; sales have gone up 24% since the campaign began.

And think about it from an image point of view. Ugly may be ugly. But it also conveys honesty, straight talking, and trustworthiness. Think Oliver Cromwell and his portrait, warts and all.

Who wouldn’t trust the brand that places value and quality over skin deep, superficial prettiness?

It’s a genius bit of insight.

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