Winner 2021

Brand & Media Owner Partnership


REWE Markt GmbH

Entered by:

OMD Germany GmbH


Ad Alliance

A(I)ttack of the killer tomatoes

The Challenge

Supermarket chain REWE plays a big part in the local food retail industry and has set itself the clear goal of becoming market leader. To get there, they continuously strive to outsmart their competition. To follow a mega trend, they wanted to advertise their regional and fresh fruits and vegetables. With one big problem:

Market research had shown that last year’s campaign had increased REWE’s overall brand awareness – but just could not deliver on purchase intent. The reason was clear but the solution much more challenging: The traditional approach to TV was simply not specific enough. It didn’t allow us to deliver the tailored messaging necessary to impact purchase intent. So, we needed to find a way to (1) continue delivering branding at scale whilst (2) increasing the relevance of our messaging in order to reach our goals.

So how did we meet this challenge? What if we told you we found a way to solve it and were able to revolutionize how we think of good old linear TV? Well, we did! With the help of artificial intelligence – one of THE buzzwords in marketing – which so far nobody has really mastered to turn into a productive media solution… yet.

The Creative Solution

When a one-fits-all TV strategy isn’t specific enough to drive purchase intent, only a more distinct form of advertising would provide the opportunity to connect on an emotional level and really cut through.

Since everybody needs to eat and almost everybody likes regional food there’s nothing wrong about a broad media channel such as TV to quickly and efficiently generate considerable reach in a broad audience. The only (but heavy) downside – TV is one of the last channels you think of when it comes to personalisation of messaging for different consumer needs. Still, that is what was needed to drive consumers’ purchase intent on regional products. One might think of Addressable TV, but that does not really do the job either as it forfeits some of TV’s most important strengths by majorly cutting down its reach.  Needed was nothing less than an approach that combines the strengths of linear TV (high reach and awareness) with the possibilities of contextualization – the kind you would usually only find in digital channels.

Our ambition was very specific yet straight-forward: putting maximum reach into a perfectly fitting context!

With rising interest in fresh and regional food comes a rising interest in recipe inspiration for cooking at home. And with a rising demand for inspiration comes a higher consumption of inspiring content, such as cooking TV shows. Our first step to find the perfect context for our campaign.

The second step was partnering up with one of the biggest vendors within the GSA-region: Ad Alliance not only hosts the broadest TV station and most sought-after cooking TV content in our region but is also a pioneer in MarTech development.

With Ad Alliance we found the perfect chef to conjointly create the recipe needed to meet our ambition. And this recipe was far more complex than one might imagine: Take the most advanced principles from the digital world, infuse them into one of the most classic media channels, serve that together with perfectly matching and most credible content. Stir it, spice it up with perfectly fitting dynamic messages. Bon appétit!

Together, we made it happen by combining 4 distinguished ingredients. And we brought it to life with help of our new superspice: AI!

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

Here’s how it worked:

Ingredient 1: “The Perfect Dinner” is one of the top cooking-shows with millions of viewers across Germany, Switzerland and Austria watching hobby chefs five days a week preparing a … well: perfect dinner. And it’s not only the perfect dinner, but also the perfect match we needed: maximum coverage within a broad audience while at the same time being the Jack to our Jill (well, our products of course).

Ingredient 2: An AI-based approach that was trained to automatically transcribe and analyse TV programme: The data obtained allowed us to serve our message right when one of our pre-defined keywords is mentioned – fully automized at scale.

Ingredient 3: A sentiment analysis made sure our ads were only displayed when the protagonist said one of our keywords in a positive context. With “tomatoes” being pretty easy to integrate, we did not have a single positive hit for Brussels sprout. Or Marmite. Not sure how that could have happened?

Ingredient 4: Dynamic ad frames were integrated into the running TV programme as soon as one of our keywords was mentioned in a positive context. The frames were displayed dynamically, so when someone said “Uuh, some nice tomatoes”? – the frame displayed a fresh tomato ad. And when someone said “and now the potatoes”? – the frame showed a perfectly fitting potato ad! All within the running programme! No trailer, no ad break. Within. The. Running. Programme.

The principles from the digital world entering the world of traditional media – pushing the limits of usual TV ad formats by making the best use of the strengths of linear TV and advancing it with an AI approach that has never been seen before.

The Result

Our first mover case not only had an incredible press coverage – with unprecedented agency and advertiser resonance it quickly became the hot topic in TV advertising.

But most importantly, it delivered when it comes to purchase intent: After exposure, 84% of viewers were interested in buying REWE’s fresh and regional products. That is a completely unprecedented figure and this number alone would probably suffice to demonstrate the approach’s power. But maybe just two more facts to add to that:

Excellent fit leads to excellent ad recall: Through exposure, REWE’s already high ad recall figures were increased by astounding 42% compared to the control group.… and likeability: 85% of viewers said the contextual integration was innovative, creative and contextually fitting.  Better watch out for the next A(I)ttack of our killer tomatoes – they obviously don’t miss their targets. And they are ready to conquer the world.