Co-op's 'live' Christmas ad highlights food waste

The supermarket takes a different tack from U.K. retail rivals

Published On
Nov 29, 2021

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U.K. retailer Co-Op is taking a different tack from its rival U.K. retailer this year in its Christmas campaign, eschewing a heartwarming or celebratory storytelling approach in favour of a live commercial highlighting the issue of food waste.

Agency Lucky Generals created a spot that was filmed live and ran an episode of in soap opera "Coronation Street" last Friday, in which TV presenter Dermot O'Leary visits on of the retailer's "community fridges." Set up in partnership with charity Hubbub, each community fridge redistributes an average of 2.4 tonnes of food per month, reducing food waste and at the same time addressing food poverty in local communities.

For consumers to really understand the project, Lucky Generals and ITN Productions, in a partnership brokered by Dentsu agencies Carat UK and The Story Lab, filmed a live two minute broadcast from the Feltham Community fridge that saw O’Leary and TV chef and rapper Big Zuu talking to individuals who run the Fridge and people in the community that use them. The rapper also cooked a festive meal in the kitchen using ingredients found in the Community Fridge.

The live broadcast (which Co-Op claims is the first ever live U.K. Christmas commercial) is being followed up by a 10-second TV ad that will be running throughout December, in which Big Zuu explains that every time someone shops at Co-op they’re supporting local projects, Co-op is committing to doubling Hubbub’s network to 500 by funding a further 250 fridges.

"I love a Christmas ad. But this year we're committing to putting 250 community fridges into the heart of communities, it felt like not only the right thing to do for brand like Co-op but the right thing to do as human beings," commented Danny Hunt, creative director at Lucky Generals, in a statement. "Executing such an important service we knew we needed to find a way to creatively get out of the way and show what a great job the fridges do and what an amazing place a Community Fridge can be.”