Tesco Clubcard Plus

After moving out of home this year and becoming an “adult” officially I have discovered how expensive grocery shopping is so when I heard about the new Tesco Clubcard Plus I thought it  would definitely  be an excellent way to save money.

The first advertisement for the scheme I saw was a billboard in town. It was simply a blown up photograph of a tennis player with a speech bubble poorly edited onto the image (he could have been really famous I know nothing about tennis), my initial thought to this wasn’t anything to do with the Clubcard but more in relation to how bad the advertisement was, for such a huge company. After seeing this billboard it seemed like there was no avoiding Tesco Clubcard Plus. It’s plastered on every bus top in Belfast, every ad break in any TV show, and now all over social media- with thanks to Mel B.

You’ve probably seen the image either in real life or if not, on social media somewhere. Mel B called out Tesco on her Instagram and demanded the CEO get in contact with her urgently. Tesco have come out and said that they had permission to use the photograph. However clearly Mel B thinks otherwise.

 “Here at Tesco we are really big fans of Mel B and were excited to feature her photo in our campaign,” “We had authorisation to use this image, but we’re sorry Mel B is unhappy so we’ve stopped using it.” Claimed a spokesperson for Tesco.

 Mel B has recently back tracked and claimed she did give permission for her photograph to be used and the rumours pretty much came out of nowhere, when in reality she created them. She explained in an instagram caption that she was originally meant to be working on a campaign with Women’s Aid but their funding fell through. She praised Tesco in the caption saying that they had been so understanding. Could this have all been set up between Tesco and Mel B to give the scheme more media attention?

With a slogan like “value you can’t stop talking about” you would think they value would be good. However it seems that all people are talking about it how terrible the value is.

You have to pay a monthly subscription of £7.99, to save money? The perks are that you can save 10% on two “big shops” a month. However Tesco have not clarified what falls under the category of “big shop” they have only said it has to be under £200.  The only way anyone would make a noticeable saving is if they were spending at least £150 twice a month. You would save £30 per month- before you take away the monthly subscription.  Anyone could easily save this on their monthly shops by shopping somewhere cheaper.

Next up, let’s talk about how lazy the advertising is for this scheme. All they have done is taken images of celebrities (potentially without their permission), and old movies, and inserted basic textboxes over the top- literally something a 10 year old could do on paint. The TV adverts include old movies with the characters talking about how much they could save on their Tesco shops. I just don’t get the relevance at all. None of it makes any sense to me.

So, was this a successful campaign for Tesco? They launched it at a good time; people will be shopping more leading up to Christmas. And of course many people have been talking about the campaign which is possibly giving it more publicity than it would have if for example, it had half decent advertisements and decent savings and offers. The whole thing baffles me; Tesco can afford to do so much better than this, both in their advertising and providing genuine savings for their customers.  Obviously there is more to the loyalty card that just the 10% off 2 big shops, there is also double data and discount on Tesco own brands. The scheme is not completely terrible. It could be very beneficial to large families or people with large appetites who will be spending £200 on 2 large shops a month, are with Tesco mobile and only by their clothes and other bits from Tesco?

 They are right in claiming this is value you can’t stop talking about, which is true, people can’t stop talking about the value, although they think it’s bad, people are still talking. So was it possible Tesco did all this to get people talking about their latest scheme to attract more attention?

Anna Tilley is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter – @annatilley_, Instagram – @annatilleyx and Linked In: Anna Tilley

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