About this article

Read time:

4 minutes

Category:

Uncategorized

My Take On – Caterpillar Craziness 

Colin vs Cuthbert. M&S vs Aldi. Two caterpillars of chocolate sponge have seemed to divide the nation in recent months. But is there a winner, or are they simultaneously victorious off the back of this social media stunt?

Aldi seem to have a very good track record of two things: finding creative ways to ‘borrow’ branding, and being highly reactive and engaging on social media (having even won a few awards). These two features of the supermarket recently helped it to make headlines, as M&S threatened to take legal action against Aldi over its ‘too similar’ caterpillar cake named Cuthbert, believed to have been a copy of M&S’ ‘Colin.’ However, it wasn’t the threat of legal action alone that made this scenario so unique. Rather Aldi’s reaction via twitter, with its initial ‘#FreeCuthbert,’ tweet generating 75,000 likes. This alone shows the effect of knowing your audience; Aldi recognised that this hashtag could catch on and saw an opportunity to be talked about and gain positive feedback. Its social team saw that a popular product (across all supermarkets) could be used to spark a reaction from the public if talked about in the right manner. Humour seemed to be the perfect way to start a widespread  dialogue. As well as involving other big supermarkets such as Waitrose, Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda, in a tweet which read: ‘Cecil, Wiggles, Curly, Clyde. We got you.’ The involvement of other supermarkets meant that shoppers loyal to other brands were now onside, feeling the need to defend their chosen caterpillar cake against M&S. Aldi was not just expanding its audience, but it was also creating more leverage against M&S. This was a risky strategy considering the potential PR disaster they could’ve been facing, given that M&S were seemingly paving the way for many of these other brands to take legal action against Aldi for copying product ideas. But this evidently paid off for Aldi, as they saw a record daily follower gain of almost 50,000 on the 17th April, amassing an overall gain of 134,000 followers gained (a 30% increase) since 15th April.

Aldi isn’t the only one to profit from this though, word on the street was that it was nigh-on-impossible to get a caterpillar cake from any supermarket during the peak of Colin vs Cuthbert. So at the very least, nobody involved can complain about sales! The only direct social media involvement from M&S was a tweet in response to Aldi’s rather cheeky attempt to end any legal action using charity. ‘Let’s raise money for charity, not lawyers,’ was the phrase Aldi used to call M&S to action, who swiftly responded with the counter-offer of its own idea: ‘kevinthecarrotcake,’ to go ahead with the proposed fundraiser.  There must have been some PR experts involved in this very well-thought-out response from M&S. They didn’t give in to Aldi trying to publicly shame them into trading lawyer fees for charity work, but also saved face by accepting the possibility of a charity collaboration. Through this, M&S proved that it too has a sound understanding of its social media audience and could use humour in a similar way to Aldi, to gain coverage.

It’s safe to say, Aldi has used a smart social media strategy to engage with other UK supermarkets on the back of what is potentially quite an alarming scenario for them. As we’re yet to see what will come of the legal action from M&S, it’s tricky to say who has really come out on top. It should be noted, however, that Aldi definitely knows how to capture and grow an audience. And, boasting a 30% increase in followers in just over a month, we might all be able to learn a thing or two from their social team.

Enjoying our blogs?

We can deliver a monthly round-up straight to your inbox

About this article

Read time:

4 minutes

Category:

Uncategorized

Why is tech news only happy when it rains?

Navigating the storm: Why a crisis communications strategy is vital

Browse more blog posts

Posted on
byJack Doyle
Has the conversation around tech always been so negative? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that every second headline I read about tech today is just doom and gloom. The excitement around AI has been drowned out by the fear of it. “Is it going to steal my job?” “Is it going to destroy the education system?” “Is it...
Posted on
byJames Bentley
The world in that we live is unpredictable, to say the least. Businesses, organisations and even individuals are all vulnerable to issues which may lurk in the shadows or around corners. Some of these crises are natural while some are very definitely man-made, but they can strike at any time and with them put reputations and livelihoods on the line....
Posted on
byLee Simpson
Priority Consultants share further insights into the media landscape in India, from the booming print media, to regional trade publications. Mitabh, last time we spoke about the Indian tech sector and areas which you’re seeing high growth in currently. But thinking more about the work you do for your tech clients. What do you see as some of the key...
Posted on
byLee Simpson
Meeting PR agencies from different regions around the world is something we are always keen to explore. Whether that’s to work in partnership with one another, or simply to understand and learn more about their region. We recently spoke to Mitabh Saud, director of India Operations at Priority Consultants about why India’s tech sector is booming, and what the future...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
In today’s fast-paced and consistently evolving world of technology, innovation is key to stay ahead of the competition. While breakthrough products and next-generation solutions are fundamentally crucial, the importance of public relations (PR) for the tech industry should not be underestimated. Here, we explore the reasons why tech companies, both innovative start-ups or big tech, need PR and how it...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
Since the dawn of the 21st century, the tech industry has surged and evolved through countless groundbreaking innovations. But in the ongoing pursuit of digital transformation, layoffs in the sector have become an unwelcome trend. We saw it in the aftermath of the pandemic with the industry increasing its layoffs by 649% in 2022, which is the highest since the...
Posted on
byJames Bentley
Things change quickly in the world of B2B marketing, so it’s vital to be ahead of the curve. 2024 will bring with it new challenges and opportunities, so here are five incredible B2B marketing strategies which can make a significant impact for your business this year.  1. Personalised content marketing  Identifying and then producing content for specific target audiences has...
Posted on
bySkout team
Why was Operations your chosen career? I realised that Business Operations and Finance is the ideal path for me as I’ve always been passionate about finance and business, and I really love problem-solving. I love the challenging nature of the role and it is incredibly satisfying for my numerical mind to tackle challenges and turn them into opportunities for growth....
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
There is no denying that Josh Cole Bolland is an early starter. He started working as a freelance photographer and graphic designer aged just 16 and lived the dream, working with bands and musicians. He opened his own photographic studio just two years later and gradually integrated graphic design and video into the mix before he was joined in the...
Posted on
byJack Snell
I recently attended a Mental Health Workplace Responder course by St John’s Ambulance. It is now a part of my responsibility to help create awareness of mental health issues at Skout and to be a point of contact for my team. I have discussed my role with the team in great detail so they know what I’m here for, alongside...

Send us a message

Download The B2B business relationship report

The B2B relationship renaissance – did digital kill it? The importance of relationships throughout the customer buying journey. Please complete the form below and receive a download link via email.