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Cuthbert the Caterpillar

Aldi strikes again with #FreeCuthbert Round 2

Cuthbert the Caterpillar

Aldi strikes again with #FreeCuthbert Round 2

Retail giant Aldi has once again shown how social media can be used to generate positive brand awareness on a large scale.

Last Thursday, the BBC broke the news that M&S was taking Aldi to court over its light-up gin bottles. This is the second time this year that the two retailers have faced one another in the courtroom, with the famous #FreeCuthbert movement taking place back in April over the similarities of the two chains’ caterpillar cakes.

Once again, Aldi took to its Twitter to make light of the situation from the offset:

Not only did this tweet light-heartedly address the situation, but it also highlighted the farce of the ordeal by referencing the stark difference in price points between the two chains – both back in April with #FreeCuthbert, and now with the gin bottles, the point is raised that the supermarkets have vastly different customer bases and so, arguably, not much reason to go to court, as Aldi wouldn’t necessarily have ‘stolen’ customers from M&S.

After the initial tweet, which gained over 16,000 likes and over 2,000 retweets, Aldi’s social media team continued to roll out humorous posts, much to its followers delight, labelling itself “ginnocent” and saying it was “Colin” its lawyers. Aldi continued the gags into the next day, with one particular tweet referencing Grand Theft Auto and using an image of Cuthbert to block an expletive, and another referencing the famous piracy warning featured on many DVDs in the 2000s – both pop culture references appealing to millennials and Gen Z, both of which are extremely prevalent on the social media site:

As with #FreeCuthbert Round 1, Aldi has shown the power of putting engaging content out on social media, yet again turning a potentially damaging story against the brand into a rallying cry, with many people siding with the discount grocery chain. Indeed, some commenters on Facebook said they weren’t aware Aldi were even selling light-up gin bottles, but now they knew, they’d be shopping for the bottles there instead.

M&S, on the other hand, has remained silent throughout the ordeal.

While Aldi may end up having to pay out to M&S, it has once again found itself generating copious amounts of positive brand exposure through its humorous remarks, and by publicising the fact that it sells light-up gin bottles, it may find itself with more customers in the run up to Christmas – customers who may pick up more than just a bottle of gin.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use social media to generate positive brand exposure for your business, reach out to our team at Engage Web today.

Emily Jones

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