A Lidl Bit of Genius

2 Minutes
Chris Kell

When you think of Lidl, you think of a cheap brand (or I certainly do / did). For many this conjures up the image of low quality food, perhaps even unhealthy food. The effect this perception has had on the brand is the alienation of the middle classes, a damaging loss to the ambitious food retailer. I’ll be perfectly honest, I’ve never stepped foot inside a Lidl store. I’ve seen them around as I travel across the UK a great deal, but I’ve never been in. I’d instead look for a Sainsbury’s or Waitrose (maybe even an M&S if I was feeling flush) if I wanted to grab some food. I would never have thought of a Lidl.

This has all changed now, thanks to some incredibly clever marketing and we always give credit where credit’s due so hat’s off to Lidl – or the agency behind the campaign.



I first became aware of the campaign when they ran the ‘gourmet market’ advert. Members of the public wandered around a trendy market place, sampling freshly cooked slices of beef, lovely baked goods, or deliciously juicy fruit before making a purchase and being shocked as they’re passed a Lidl shopping bag.

One of the follow up adverts is a similar theme with market visitors taking part in what is assumed to be premium wine tasting, only for Lidl to be unveiled as the provider.

Another Lidl surprises campaign advert shows guests in a restaurant as they are passed menus with no prices (something that would scare the heck out of me as I’d worry they were astronomical!). When questioned, the waiting staff explain that the food will be served and the guests can pay whatever they think the meal is worth at the end. The food served looks fantastic and the diners are shown briefly enjoying a wonderful meal.

We then see the diners coming up with what they think the meal is worth and as expected the amounts being passed back are the usual (normal) restaurant bill levels. Then it’s the clever bit again. ‘Shocked’ diners are passed their change and are shown to question this, only to be advised that the food was Lidl and they are being given their change based on the value of the food they ate.

All of this is linked with their Twitter hashtag #Lidlsurprises creating an online presence to maximise the impact of the advertisements. The video above was only added to YouTube a week ago yet it’s had over 150,000 views.

This is an incredibly clever integrated marketing campaign by Lidl, that is changing perceptions of their brand. They haven’t got me changing my weekly shopping location just yet, however next time I’m looking for some last minute food maybe I will give them a go and then who knows.