Morrisons show their talent with Ant and Dec

  • Morrisons wanted to reconnect with family shoppers and to showcase the talent of their Market Specialists  
  • They teamed up with two of ITV’s biggest shows and the talented duo of Ant and Dec
  • The campaign delivered a return on investment that was double the category average

The Challenge

2012 had been a difficult year for Morrisons with a decline in sales and competition as fierce as ever. However, Morrisons had a strong product offering in that they fully train all of their butchers, bakers and cake makers, as they believe that customers value the expertise of the people they entrust with their family’s food. The challenge was to reconnect with family shoppers as well as showcasing the Market Street Specialists as they prepared fresh food in store each day.

They wanted to find a way of emphasising the skills of their specialists in a relevant and engaging way, as well as driving mass reach against their core family audience. In addition, they wanted to drive participation and engagement. Their specific objectives were to:

  • Increase brand perceptions of Morrisons as a friendly and straight forward brand 
  • Engage a family audience in a relevant and contextual way to improve brand consideration
  • Deliver a communications piece that connected with Morrisons staff

The TV Solution

Morrisons’s media agency, MEC, along with ITV, recommended associating the brand with TV personalities Ant and Dec, as much-loved personalities can help viewers establish an emotional bond with brands. Working with ITV, they developed a partnership with two of ITV’s biggest shows – Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain’s Got Talent. The sponsorship campaign would deliver mass reach against their core family audience and also drive participation and engagement. It would mean that Morrisons effectively would ‘own’ Saturday nights on ITV across four months as these shows ran from February to June 2013.

The sponsorship idents around the two programmes featured real Morrisons specialists showcasing their skills and knowledge in an entertaining way. In addition, they negotiated a talent agreement with Ant and Dec so the popular pair featured in their TV spots. In the ads, created by DLKW Lowe, they were seen working alongside Morrisons specialists in store and so became brand ambassadors through the ‘Market Street’ narrative.  

The activation of the partnership spanned all available touch points and included the following:

  • Ant and Dec met Morrisons staff and starred in internal content material
  • High achieving staff were given show tickets plus meet and greets with Ant & Dec
  • A company-wide talent competition
  • Ant & Dec made an appearance at the company’s annual conference
  • 11 million customers received Ant & Dec game cards for a weekly on-screen draw
  • Saturday Night Takeaway branded meal packages were created with point of sale material in store
  • Britain’s Got Talent held mobile auditions at Morrisons stores and also placed supportive banners outside finalists’ local stores
  • Content for online was produced showing Ant and Dec spending a day at a Morrisons store. This showed them learning how to bake cakes and prepare octopus. They were also filmed at a Morrisons farm and a fishing trawler.
  • Ant and Dec seeded content on social media
  • Bespoke online app games were created, including ‘Studio Rush’ where players had to navigate Ant & Dec through a Morrisons store to get them to the studio in time for the show
  • In addition, bespoke content for online was produced showing little Ant and Dec learning how to make cupcakes and meatballs with the Morrisons chefs

The TV activity was supported by advertising in cinema   


  • The campaign delivered an ROI of double the category average (Source: Ohal)
  • The Saturday Night Takeaway Meal Deal accounted for 1 in 4 of every supermarket Indian Takeaways sold during the show’s air-dates (Source: Kantar)
  • The campaign reached over 85% of target customers (Source: BARB)
  • Over 2.4 million shoppers entered the Saturday Night Takeaway Prize Draw online
  • Brand image metrics were also improved as a result of this campaign, particularly for the measures of friendly service and straight forward product (Source: Millward Brown)
  • Viewers of the sponsorship are 70% more likely to consider shopping at Morrisons (source: Millward Brown)
  • More than 1,000 Morrisons staff attended hospitality at either SNT or BGT and the feedback was universally positive, with a significant feeling of inclusion and excitement delivered by this partnership

This campaign was genius from a brand and colleague engagement perspective. The team at MEC brought an idea that has paid back in ROI, changed perceptions with consumers and given our people something to believe in.  It is the best thing we have ever done

Rebecca Singleton, Marketing Director, Morrisons


Sector: Retail

Brand: Morrisons

Campaign objectives: To re connect with Family shoppers on an emotional level and to celebrate the expertise of their specialist staff on Market Street.   

Target Audience: Families

Budget: £1m+

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from February to June 2013

TV Usage: Programme sponsorship + 10”, 20”, 40” and 50” spots

Creative Agency: DLKW Lowe 

Media Agency: MEC 

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