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

‘Tis the season for making panic-fuelled purchases

If you’ve ever had a job in retail, especially over the Christmas period, then you’ll completely understand everything I’m about to say.

However, even if you haven’t, I’m sure you can imagine what exactly goes on for retail workers around this time of year, especially in what is, undoubtedly, one of the nation’s biggest supermarkets, Tesco.

This will be my second Christmas working in the grocery store chain, and even after three Christmas seasons working in an incredibly busy hotel that hosted some of the biggest Christmas parties, I’ve never experienced anything like a Christmas in Tesco.

In my opinion, Tesco customers are notorious for their panic-fuelled shopping, and this shopping behaviour usually begins before the Halloween celebrations end. From the middle of October until the 7th November, Tesco were offering a 2 for £7 deal on family sized tubs of classic Christmas chocolates, Celebrations, Heroes, Quality Street and Roses, and during this period, I’m sure I seen more than several shoppers purchasing an extensive amount of these chocolates, and I mean more than 10 tubs per person. I know this is a good deal when the individual tubs are £5 each, but at this point, 7 weeks before the big day, I can’t help but think where each customer will store all this chocolate?

Another example, around the same time as the chocolate deal, Tesco had their 1 Litre bottles of sprits on offer for £16, and one Sunday, I served someone who bought 9 bottles of each spirit imaginable, “oh these are all for Christmas.” She’s really going to kick herself when they go on offer for a lower price closer to the day.

The Guardian reported that Britain’s shoppers are expected to spend £4.2 billion on food and drink in the week leading up to Christmas, and honestly this doesn’t surprise me. In fact, I will be surprised if I serve anyone on the lead up to the big day, who’s shop totals up to less than £250. Especially as the celebrations draw closer, it’s inevitable that many shoppers will purchase things out of panic, just so they have things on the table and under the tree, and definitely as they feel they’re running out of time.

I don’t know whether people forget that the store only closes on Christmas Day, or whether a lot of people just like to stock up so they don’t need to leave the house over the Christmas period, but I can almost guarantee a huge amount of customers will be back in the store on Boxing Day, as if they didn’t buy 6 loaves of bread and £200 worth of alcohol 2 days before.

The truth of it all is, the majority of the British public hate to think about what would happen if they’d forgotten something they needed for the big day, when they wouldn’t have anywhere to go to get it, and because of this, most of them tend to panic and over-buy, just so they’re prepared for anything. In my experience, anyway.

If I had it my way, if customers are going to engage in panic buying behaviour, then all shops should be closed on Boxing Day too, where’s the need to drag poor retail workers out of their bed on Boxing Day, when everyone’s bought enough food and drink to last them three months?

Maybe one day, we’ll live in a world where retail workers don’t dread the Christmas season, and supermarket shoppers don’t act like the world is ending because the shop is closed for one day.

One can only hope.

Hollie Thomson is a Final Year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Facebook: Hollie Thomson and on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/holliethomson/