Super C pokes fun at celebrity gossip

Retailer puts to rest misconception that discount stores mean inferior product

A cheeky Super C television ad campaign that stars a Québécois celebrity has caught the fancy of consumers in la belle province.

"We're getting a lot of positive feedback in our stores," said Marc Giroux, vice-president, chief marketing and communication officer of Super C's parent company, Metro.

"People really seem to like the campaign its message."

The two-commercial campaign is part of a broader strategic effort that Metro began rolling out last year in an effort to raise the profile of its discount Super C banner in Quebec.

"Most consumers are now choosing to go to discount stores for at least part of their shopping," said Giroux, noting that Nielsen data shows that 70% of consumers in Ontario and 65% in Quebec shop at discount stores.

The problem, noted Giroux, is widespread public perception that discount is a euphemism for inferior.

"That's simply not the case at Super C," he said.  "We've worked to improve the processes and quality in our fresh departments improved in stock supplies of foods on special."

As a result, the ad campaign makes three promises to Super C customers: always fresh, always in stock, and always great prices.

Metro made that pledge to Ontario shoppers for the company's discount Food Basics banner using a flyer and an-store ad campaign last year.

"Consumers reacted very well to it judging by increases in overall sales and fresh sales," said Giroux.

The Quebec campaign began with a flyer sent out on Jan. 27, and in-store ads.

But the big hit was made in early February when the first of two French-language TV ads featuring Guy Jodoin appeared.

Best-known for his character in a popular children's TV show and as a host of an adult game show, Jodoin made news late last year when he publicly denied he was gay after separating from his wife.

He denied the rumours again last month on a popular TV talk show–then kissed the show's sexually ambiguous male host on the mouth.

In the first Super C ad, Jodoin plays on the rumours, saying it's time to "come out" about the fact that he shops at Super C.

In the second ad, which began airing a week later, Jodoin is joined by dozens of other shoppers brandishing signs that read Zéro compromis (no compromise).

"The core insight or message is one of respect," Giroux said about the TV ads, which were developed by the Publicis Montréal ad agency. "You might get the same shopping experience in a discount store that you would in an up-market one.  But people should never have to choose between price and quality."

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