Ever since 2016, Lidl have been the biggest corporate supporter of women’s sport in Ireland, investing €4 million into Ladies’ Gaelic Football. From 2011 to 2015 Tesco held the sponsorship for four years, an endorsement which largely went unnoticed. Lidl wanted to avoid their rival’s fate and put this sponsorship to good use by using it to build their brand story.
Within a year of this campaign, they had generated an awareness of their sponsorship that was higher than that of AIB with Gaelic Football and Heineken with Irish rugby. We at All Good Tales, have compiled a list of three reasons why Lidl’s campaign with Ladies Gaelic Football was a success.
They weren’t condescending to women
Many marketing campaigns aimed at women have been incredibly condescending, cosmetic and simplistic. For example, in 2012, BIC (the pen company) launched a “For Her” pen. Costing twice as much as their regular products, the only change was that they came in pink. Ridiculed by comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres, it became the benchmark for terrible marketing campaigns aimed at women. Seeking to remind their customers of these campaigns, Lidl created a spoof product called “Ladyball”. It was advertised as being built for “a woman’s grip”, a woman’s ability and fashion-driven for a woman’s style. To top it off, it was painted a bright, blinding pink. The product’s launch video generated huge amounts of negative feedback online, which was exactly Lidl’s intention. After the dust of outrage had settled, they revealed that it was a marketing stunt, and revealed their brand new campaign working alongside the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA).
It completely changed their brand perception
When Lidl opened their first store in Ireland in 2000, they were seen as a multi-national megacorporation who offered discount shopping with no frills. It was a stark contrast to the neighbourly supermarket culture which had been so successfully cultivated by Superquinn’s Feargal Quinn in the 80s and 90s. After the 2008 financial crisis, Lidl’s market share grew significantly, but they failed to shake that image of the “German food warehouse”. One of Lidl’s goals with this campaign was to get more people to associate their brand with local activity, by using the links that local LGFA clubs have with their communities. Their aim was to double people’s perception of Lidl as a local supermarket, and according to Spark Research, they tripled their original number. This was done by focusing much of their funding on local institutions. For example, they bought €250,000 worth of equipment for 147 schools, rejuvenating the sport amongst young girls.
Not only did it help Lidl, it helped the sport
Often with PR campaigns, they only have soundbites and vague statements to back up the impact that their marketing campaigns have had. However, when it comes to Lidl’s partnership with the LGFA, there is one set of statistics which seem to back up the success of their campaign. In 2016, the year Lidl’s partnership began, attendance at the LGFA All-Ireland final was 34,445. Two years later, attendance was 50,141. With the 2019 final coming up on September 15, we in the PR industry are anxious to see how much more Lidl’s campaign with the LGFA can help that sport grow.
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