Asda Downton Abbey: Ad campaign with a royal touch

asdaAsda is aiming to show how its food range is “fit for a king” in the supermarket giant’s latest ad campaign through AMV BBDO, timed to coincide with the cinematic release of the Downton Abbey movie.
The 30-second ad launches on Channel 4 on Friday night and focuses on the “downstairs” staff who run Downton Abbey for the Crawley family. It features head cook Mrs Patmore (Lesley Nicol) as she orders kitchen staff around as they get ready for the arrival of the royal family.
Having berated a couple of maids, she turns to one of the ovens and picks up a joint of beef, saying: “At last, quality I can rely on. You’ve just got to know where to find it.”
The ad then switches to a modern-day setting with family and friends as the same joint is placed on the kitchen table with a sprig of parsley. One diner remarks: “Parsley? Expecting the queen round or something?”
The voiceover states: “When it comes to quality, you can rely on Asda. And with thousands of roll-backs, you don’t need to pay a king’s ransom.”
Asda will follow up this activity with two shorter ads as well as social media, outdoor and owned channel activity ahead of Downton Abbey’s big-screen debut on September 13.
Asda vice-president of creative and media Eilidh Macaskill said: “Downton Abbey is world-renowned for its wonderful kitchen, stunning feasts and a head cook who only accepts the best. Mrs Patmore knows that every great meal starts with great ingredients. At Asda, we aim to provide customers with delicious, low-cost meal ideas that don’t compromise on quality and are simple enough to fit around even the busiest of schedules.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office? Are Downton and Asda a natural fit or awkward bedfellows? Will we be rushing out to grab the same grub as the royals feast on? Will we even be booking advance tickets for “Downton Abbey, the movie”?
To be fair, an ad for Asda is never likely to be a contender for a Yellow Pencil or a Cannes Lions but this one certainly ticks all the boxes for what Asda is obviously trying to get across.
Asda isn’t lording it up; a bit like the classic Frost Report sketch, it knows its place. And no doubt Asda shoppers will give it the thumbs up, too. As for the Downton movie, we might have to pass, but don’t let us get in the way of your fun…

Decision Marketing Adometer: 7 out of 10

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