By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

May 16, 2024 | 3 min read

We catch up with the supermarket’s vice-president of marketing to find out why accessibility, northern humor and heritage are at the heart of its milestone moment.

When Walmart sold its majority stake in Asda to Zuber and Mohsin Issa, two billionaire brothers from Blackburn, it marked the first time the grocer had been in predominantly UK ownership in two decades.

Four years on, the chain has announced a rebrand in the hope of reigniting its connection with the British public, informed by research into what shoppers actually like about it.

The rebrand is Adam Zavalis’s biggest task since joining from rival chain Aldi in November last year. He tells The Drum: “I knew that Asda had a special place in the nation’s heart, but I didn’t appreciate just how much. It is based in Leeds and is a great British institution that’s in British ownership again. Once we started testing some of the concepts, everyone said, ‘That’s exactly who Asda is.’ It had permission.”

The foundations for this mammoth project were laid before the marketer joined the business, but it has been a huge undertaking in his first year in the role. It’s an evolution for the brand, not a complete redesign, he says.

“We didn’t want to throw the baby out of the bathwater. We wanted to use our distinctive assets, our iconic green.”

The new look combines the green hue that people are familiar with, but pairs it with a darker tone for the typography.

The team went through many shades before landing on the blue-green one, at all times looking at the accessibility of its design for people who are visually impaired.“We want to disrupt our own category. The typeface is unique within the sector. The way we’re going to play with it, the way we’re going to display it, that, I think, will be very unique.”

The new identity also features ‘stickers’ to allow the supermarket to showcase its offers and ranges consistently and with added personality.

It’s that personality that Asda wants to shine through, and there’s a real emphasis on “northern humor,” which Zavalis feels sets it apart. “We’re back to our roots. We’re from Leeds. Great British humor is what we want to own and be known for.”

To coincide with the updated brand assets, a much-anticipated summer campaign from agency-of-record Havas London will bring all of the new components together.

‘Serious About Summer’ is all about making the most of the warmer months. The TV spots each give their own unique take on staple summer experiences, kicking things off with a BBQ-themed ad complete with a ‘beach dad buckaroo.’

Throughout the summer, customers will also see a ‘Nan-poline’ ad to highlight the retailer’s midweek meal inspiration. It builds on a social media campaign from earlier this year in which Asda introduced some unlikely influencers in the form of senior citizens. To date, the heartwarming content has reached an audience of 36.7 million people, with 26.9m organic views.

“With our ‘Serious About Summer’ platform, what you’ll see is us having a very distinctive take on how we can be there for families and be there for our customers during that period.”

Creative Creative Works Asda

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