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Ads bear fruit for supermarkets

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  • 1:3 shoppers say they’d buy after viewing fresh produce ads for Coles and Woolworths
  • 1:4 WA respondents say the Coles ad gave them new information about the brand
  • 2:5 say the Woolworths ad improved their familiarity with the brand


Supermarkets Coles and Woolworths have a long history of using print newspapers for tactical advertising of in-store offers.

These supermarkets reach the vast majority of target shoppers through news brands, with 14.1 million main grocery buyers reading news media in the past month, according to emma, an audience insights metric by Ipsos Media CT.

Two of their recent campaigns have been benchmarked using ADvance, The Newspaper Work’s proprietary ad testing tool. Results show Coles and Woolworths continue to successfully convert prospects into buyers.


The Coles and Woolworths Executions

The Coles ad appeared in The West Australian on February 26, and has been localised for the market. The main image features “Aussie raspberries”, promoted by Coles brand ambassador Curtis Stone. The template contains five photos of fresh produce accompanied by attractive prices.

Where relevant, easy-to-spot icons highlight products grown locally in Western Australia.

The Woolworths ad was printed six days earlier in the Gold Coast Bulletin.  With a similar template to Coles’, this execution features prominent branding, four images of fresh produce, two of which are accompanied by the “Australian Made” logo.

The ad also incorporates Woolworth’s “Disney Movie Stars” promotion, geared toward attracting parents of young children in-store.


Strategic RoleMap

Six strategic advertising roles of newspapers have been validated both qualitatively and quantitatively by The Newspaper Works, resulting in the creation of RoleMap. 

Coles and Woolworths are long-time display advertisers in newspapers and masters of producing attractive creative to drive reader action.

One in three respondents said they were motivated to buy or tell others about the offers – that’s almost double the level of action generated by a typical print ad.

One in four respondents in Western Australia said the Coles ad gave them new information about the brand. “I’m glad that Coles is promoting WA grown products,” said one respondent.

One in five said the Woolworths ad made them more positive toward the brand.



Newspapers are recognised as an effective medium for delivering a Call to Action. ActionMap, another proprietary newspaper metric, expands on this strategic role to provide an understanding of the types of action a newspaper ad inspires. 

Some 32 per cent of respondents said they would go in-store to buy at least one of the products advertised. One-fifth said they would look out for the products advertised next time they shopped.

One in three said Woolworths ad gave them information that they would remember for later. “I haven’t seen the Movie Star promotion before. It looks like something my girls would like,” said one.


Brand Perceptions

Both ads performed improved shopper attitudes to each brand across a range of metrics.

Two in five said the Woolworths ad improved their familiarity with the brand. “It indicates that maybe Woolworths isn’t so pricey compared with ALDI,” said a respondent.


Creative Diagnostics

This Newspaper Works’ proprietary newspaper metric, provides a set of creative diagnostics unique to the attributes of newspaper advertising.  They’ve been developed to help identify areas for improvement where results across other brand and advertising measures may require further analysis and interrogation.

Readers responded to the unusual format of both ads, which lifted standout.

Coles scored well in terms of catching the reader’s eye. Respondents appreciated the clear, uncluttered creative with minimal text and fresh imagery.

The ad scored significantly higher than the retail ad average in terms of making it easy to see what is on offer (55% vs. 38% retail ad average).

A negative was 42% of respondents said it is similar to all other supermarket ads, which is significantly more than the retail ad average of 28 per cent.

Respondents reacted positively to the images featured in the Woolworths ad. Some 34 per cent of respondents said the ad highlights an important feature. The unusual template format also caught the attention of respondents.




Coles continue to produce effective print ads that drive call-to-action. Shoppers warmed to the clear, uncluttered creative which made it easy to spot deals. The ad successfully converted one in three grocery shoppers into buyers.


Its execution attracted shoppers in-store while offering readers fresh information about their locally-grown produce and their “Disney Movie Stars” promotion. Readers appreciated the clean template, which made it easy to see what’s on offer.


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