There really are no limits to the lengths people will go to impress the object of their affections. Who hasn’t attempted Dostoyevsky or similar, in the hope that the cute but highbrow guy or girl will think we have simply everything in common?
This smart and knowing ad for French supermarket chain Intermarché plays on that dynamic by tracking the changes a young man makes in order to gain approval from the checkout assistant in his supermarket. He’s first seen with a group of boisterous pals, and their groceries comprise exactly the kind of unhealthy junk one would expect. The checkout girl rolls her eyes at their choices.
As the three-minute film unfolds, it follows his first triumphant purchase of lettuce, to eventually learning how to cook with healthy ingredients. Not only that, he enjoys it and ultimately converts his friends, too. It’s charmingly told, dialogue-free and set to “L’amour l’amour l’amour” by Marcel Mouloudji. Does he get the girl? Well, what do you think?
The spot was made by French agency Romance, and co-founder and CEO Christophe Lichtenstein says the campaign is a major strategic shift for Intermarché. As in other European countries, the French supermarket sector has been affected by discount brands and retailers have been engaged in a race to the bottom. “The Intermarché brand moved out of the retailers price war to position itself as the purchaser of quality,” he says, noting that consumer insight indicated French shoppers were concerned with more than just price. “One in two French people consider the retail market unreliable and many of them say they are ready to consume less in order to consume better quality products.”
Alongside this brand repositioning, to say a three-minutes long ad is unusual in this sector would be an understatement. Romance co-founder and executive creative director Alexandre Hervé says, “In a market where advertising formats are shorter and shorter and storytelling has no place anymore, we wanted to create this short film to touch our audiences again, and create desire for the brand. People like stories!” he says.
Hervé is also of the opinion that, since consumption of content like TV shows is at its peak on mobile, a film of this depth has got a great shot at being widely shared on social media.