A couple of weeks ago I did a little rant about how the supermarkets in Australia all seem to be hung up on "freshness". Unlike the majority of posts on this blog, I wasn't particuarly pissed off at Woolworths, Coles, etc., just disappointed with their lack of originality. Yet they certainly seem to be trying their hardest to make me upset!
We're all familiar with this annoying ad by Coles:
Thanks for ruining a perfectly good Status Quo song, Coles
It didn't take long before Woolworths came up with their own, very original response to this campaign. Just kidding, they stole Coles' campaign completely:
That poor bunny
Somehow, I imagine the conversation at Woolworth's marketing department went like this:
"Damn, we need to come up with something to compete with Coles' Down and staying down campaign."
"Should we try coming up with an original idea?"
"Are you kidding? That would require effort! Can't we just steal their idea, without it looking like we stole their idea?"
"Hmm... well, we could just add the word 'Knock' into the slogan, and hope that consumers are too stupid to realise there's no difference whatsoever..."
"Of course they're stupid enough. We've finally managed to trick them into serving themselves at registers, they'll fall for this one easily."
"Phew. Thank God that's over. I nearly did something creative there."
"I know, it was a close call. Lunch?"
Still, I suppose Woolies and Coles are always like that, right? At least the Independent Grocers of Australia (IGA) have been staying original, right? Right? Yeah, I thought so too, until I saw this on TV last night:
Because when I go shopping, I love to hear the word "lockdown"
This is getting ridiculous. Is there no originality left in the grocery industry in Australia? Why don't they just all merge into one and save some money on advertising?
On a more serious note, what I find worrying about these three campaigns is they're all promising to keep prices low. Not just lower prices termporarily, but permanently keep them low (you can't get any clearer than "staying down"). An admirable goal, but an impossible one. Have you ever heard of inflation? Short of something catastrophic happening to the global economy (and I mean catastrophic - bigger than even the Great Depression) prices are going to continue to rise. This isn't a bad thing - when prices rise, so do rates of pay - a steady rate of inflation is a good measure of a country's economy.
The graph above (source) show's Australia's Consumer Price Index (inflation faced by households) since 1999 - as you can see, it hasn't been in the negative for over a decade (probably longer, this was the only graph I could find). There's no denying it - prices go up.
So how can all of the grocery chains ever keep their promise of putting down prices and keeping them down? Well, to put it simply, they can't. They will be able to in the short term, but only by increasing the cost of other items - quietly, so you won't notice.
In the end, though, you'll be paying just as much as before, and eventually even more. I think what upsets me most about the supermarket's lazy campaigns is not that they're doing it, but the fact that you people keep falling for it. Honestly, when Woolworths proclaimed, "We're knocking down prices!", we should have collectively told them that they needed to try harder.
But oh well. At least Aldi doesn't bother with this bullsh-
I give up.
© 2012 by The Free Man