The Power of Frozen


No, I’m not talking about the popular Disney film. Last month the British supermarket Iceland launched a new brand campaign that marked a notable shift away from its previous efforts. Past campaigns have focused on its price points and specifically on bringing mums through the door with its “Mums Go to Iceland” messaging. This effort focuses on the products, the ethos of the brand itself and a simple idea: freezing food means it can come from anywhere and lasts longer. The new creative can be seen below.

Lines from the advert include “Because it’s frozen, we can bring fresh baked pizza from the wood-fired ovens of Italy to the gas fired ovens of Ipswich” which conveys the intent of the creative succinctly. When compared to previous Iceland adverts set inside a conventional family home in a perfectly lit and constructed set, the contrast is clear to see. The supermarket is clearly attempting something out of its comfort zone, and when viewed in isolation it’s nice to watch, the messaging is clear, and it feels warm and comforting. The problem is that it’s not recognisably Iceland and not memorable enough to leave a mark.

Iceland Banner 1

What do these celebrities all have in common: Kerry Katona, Coleen Nolan, Jason Donovan and Stacy Soloman? That’s right – they’re all previous brand ambassadors of Iceland. This list shows how the brand has always followed a tried and tested route with celebrities and messages all of the same ilk. This new advert still sees Andre retained at the helm, but he’s no longer the focal point of the creative or the messaging. Instead, his voice narrates close-up shots of food and we never see him speaking to the camera directly. It’s a small change that marks a big alteration for a brand that’s rarely strayed from a formulaic approach since it began to use TV advertising to connect with customers.

Iceland Banner 2

So will it work? The obvious point to make is that the new creatives are more heavily stylised and cinematic than Iceland’s previous efforts. It’s a strange decision, since Iceland doesn’t particularly seem to be overhauling its brand and changing its messaging completely in order to target a completely new audience.

Do Iceland customers really care enough about the story behind the food or more about the cost and time saving benefits of it? Does the typical customer choose Iceland because it can “bring cold water prawns from the North Atlantic to the lawns of South Yorkshire”? I think they choose Iceland because of its convenience and price points compared to other supermarkets. If Iceland wants to truly shift brand perceptions a more striking and radical campaign is needed, instead of one that leaves it in no man’s land. The #PowerofFrozen is a lovely idea, but the power of the campaign risks being lost on Iceland’s core audience.


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