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This is a self-funded case study using our ad testing solution.
Let’s play word associations. You say Batman? We say Robin. You say Milk? We say Cookies. You Say Christmas? We say Kevin the Carrot…
Ok, maybe ALDI’s humble carrot mascot isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the festive season. But you get the point. Ever since his introduction by ALDI U.K. in 2016, the mascot has fostered an unprecedented level of popularity and connection with the festive period.
After a strong 2021 (which saw the Dickens-inspired Ebanana Scrooge take out top spot in our annual Christmas rankings), the 2022 installment played off the cult Christmas classic, Home Alone.
The story sees Kevin play the role of Kevin McCalister, left to valiantly protect the house from intruders — after being mistakenly left behind while the rest of the family went to Paris on vacation.
Could the take on Home Alone result in Kevin’s reign over Christmas being taken to new heights? We tested the ad using our 3Cs framework to find out.
Tackling a festive tale (or emulating the plots of popular film/television) while placing the lovable Kevin the Carrot at the narrative’s core, has proven to be a lucrative formula for ALDI. 2022’s take on Home Alone was no different. Combining twists, turns, and a hint (or more) of nostalgia, the creative theme helped deliver the brand’s most distinctive execution to date. Though not as absorbing as Ebanana Scrooge’s U-turn from grinch to merrymaker in 2021, it still tapped into all the right emotions (including warmth, amusement, and happiness).
Consistency, Assets, and Brand Hero. We talk at length about these elements in our Creative Effectiveness Playbook, and ALDI’s 2022 Christmas spot perfectly epitomized putting these learnings into practice. After 7 years of Kevin and the carrot family, ALDI continues to reap the rewards for this admirable consistency. The characters act as an immediately recognizable shortcut and instant trigger of warmth for the grocer. Furthermore, with the entire story built around Kevin and his exploits, the brand was seen to play a meaningful role throughout — without being overshadowed by parallels to the iconic movie.
Rational messaging is typically deprioritized by advertisers during the festive season, with the opportunity to build emotional associations instead taking precedence. Home Alone was highly effective at doing just this. While the food was still a focus, the nostalgia associated with the play on Home Alone — combined with the lovable mascot and uplifting conclusion — helped transfer warmth and positivity back onto ALDI. Not to mention that the unique and entertaining theme served to reinforce the grocer’s differentiated positioning.
Although we can sit here all day gushing about ALDI and the incredible franchise they’ve built around Kevin the Carrot, the number one thing the brand reminds us of is the power of fresh consistency.
It’s an incredibly difficult task to keep one-upping yourself with each new installment — Home Alone 2 is a terrific testament to this! ALDI’s ability to redeploy Kevin and the carrot family through fresh, topical (and most importantly, enjoyable) stories over the years has been the driving force behind the brand’s Christmas success.
Kevin the Carrot has become a cultural phenomenon, with the anthropomorphic vegetable now a pillar of the Christmas landscape. The fact that the brand’s latest installment is its most effective to date is a testament again to a good idea well executed only getting better with age and repetition. Advertisers instead prioritizing ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ approaches each Christmas are advised to take note.