Asda marketing boss Andy Murray has turned to his former employer Saatchi & Saatchi to try to get shoppers to “fall in love again” with the struggling retailer.
The Walmart-owned supermarket today revealed it had brought in the Publicis-owned agency, which already handles the creative account for Walmart in the US, to take over its £95m advertising account, replacing VCCP, which has had the brief since 2013.
Fellow Publicis agency Zenith takes over the media side of the deal, replacing Carat.
It is the latest move in Asda’s Project Renewal blueprint to transform its business and boost its American owner’s “Save Money. Live Better” credentials.
The move comes just two months after Murray’s arrival at Asda, where he replaced chief customer officer Barry Williams, with sources saying his mission was to win back the love from customers.
As founder of shopper marketing agency Saatchi & Saatchi X, Murray is turning to an old ally as he seeks to repeat his recent success in Walmart’s US marketing.
Murray spearheaded a major advertising campaign stressing the company’s investment in jobs in the US and was also instrumental in helping lead Walmart’s revamp of its 200,000sq ft stores.
The new appointments come as Asda throws £500m at lowering prices on top of the £1bn revealed in 2013 and launches a major reset of its store offer.
In February Asda launched a major campaign called ‘Pocket More’, to stress its price reductions compared to its rivals but Saatchi & Saatchi will be asked to re-connect the price credentials and the store experience in Asda with customers who have been flocking to the discounters.
“We’ve made a big commitment within Project Renewal to our brand and we are making changes at pace that will differentiate Asda with our customers both in stores and online,” said Murray.
“I’m excited about this new partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith and I look forward to the leadership, creativity, and effectiveness this new team will bring to our business.
“I’d like to recognise and thank the VCCP and Carat teams for the contribution that they have made to Asda.”
“We are delighted to be re-establishing our long standing partnership with Asda, bringing a fully integrated Publicis Groupe offer led by a joint Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith team,” said Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO Robert Senior
“This is a crucial time for UK retail and we relish the opportunity to support Asda in driving a reappraisal of its brand by customers using the latest creative techniques and cutting edge technology.”