Saturday December 7, 2019

Media Matters Podcast: Aoife Clarke on changing Lidl's image

The discount retailer's head of communications tells Colette Sexton how the company has developed its communications strategy, and why it has scaled back its work with influencers

3rd October, 2018
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The Media Matters Podcast

Lidl Ireland has scaled back its work with influencers, with its head of communications, Aoife Clarke, saying that the industry started off as promising but has completely flipped.

Speaking on The Sunday Business Post Media Matters podcast, Clarke said: “We have definitely scaled back our work with influencers. I don’t think we have worked with any at all this year. It is probably one of those trends in the PR industry that is, in my eyes, dying a death.”

Clarke said that when Lidl approached people to collaborate and their first response back was “what’s your budget?”, she knew they were not the right fit.

“Anyone who hates being called an influencer is probably quite genuine.”

However, she said it did work with Caitriona Redmond, from the wholesomeireland.com blog. Clarke said Redmond was a good fit as her blog is focused on creating family meals on a low budget and she lives near the Lidl store in Balbriggan.

“Credibility is huge,” she said, adding that having a smaller base of authentic fans was often better than a huge following.

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That thinking also echoes Lidl Ireland’s decision in 2016 to partner with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. During the two-year partnership, Lidl invested €2.5 million in the LFGA and this year it announced a further €3 million investment and an extension of the sponsorship until 2021.

“It would have been so easy for us to become a sponsor of a much higher profile sport, pay out a huge sum of money, have your logo somewhere, have it on screens at every match. But that for us wasn’t what we wanted to do. We wanted to make a difference,” Clarke said on the podcast.

Lidl’s “serious support” LGFA ad campaign, created by ad agency Chemistry, won a prestigious gold award in the leisure, media and entertainment category at the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland’s ADFX awards last Thursday.

This year, a record-breaking 50,141 spectators turned out to see Dublin defeat Cork in the All Ireland LGFA final. Clarke believes interest in the sport will continue to increase.

“I don’t think it is unrealistic to think that Croke Park would be full in a couple of years time. There are more and more girls taking up gaelic football. More and more clubs are getting buses to go up. It is a real family day out.”

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