System1: Aldi is UK ad winner in the age of Covid-19

New data from System1 claims that a number of UK brands, including Aldi, Guinness, M&S and Morrisons are creating significant long-term gains with COVID-19 related ads, at a time when many other advertisers are cutting new advertising.

Since the start of the lockdown brands globally have started releasing campaigns to support social distancing and “Stay at Home” messages. Some other brands, however, are wondering whether it’s a good idea to keep their marketing effort going during the crisis or cutting it entirely. Effectiveness Agency System1 tested the effectiveness of over 220 Covid-19 ads to help brands decide whether to continue to advertise (if they can afford to) and how to do it successfully.

System1’s benchmarking tool Test Your Ad predicts long and short-term effectiveness by measuring emotional response to ads. The higher the Star score, the more an ad can act as an amplifier for investment. Given equal relative investment 1-Star will lead to 0% brand growth; 3-Stars is 1%; while 5-Stars is 3%-plus. Spike Rating, on the other hand, predicts short-term sales impact and adds recognition of the brand and its assets into the mix. The higher above 1 Spike goes, the better – scores of 1.33 and above are considered excellent.

Based on these scores System1 compiled a top 10, listing the most impactful Coronavirus related ads in the UK during these first weeks of lockdown, topped by Aldi.


System1 CMO Jon Evans says: “With the majority of marketers questioning whether they can afford to Advertise at all its reassuring to see some brands achieving extraordinary results, even with limited budgets.

“If you can afford to advertise then there are some big potential gains to be made in share of voice. The examples from the Top 10 demonstrate that you don’t need a big production budget to make a great ad. The most important thing is to make sure you land the right message which should emphasise the importance of community and human connection.”

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