So apparently the internet likes listicles with images.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join 'em…

Here are 10 reasons French supermarkets, and brands within them, beat UK versions hands down.  Morrisons be more like Carrefour. Please?

1. Instore marketing: French bulk displays (Carrefour) that deliver a brand (CCE) and occasion (Football) message, that also clearly signpost price vs UK bulk displays (in this case, Morrisons). Also, clearly, massive instore presence.

2. When was the last time you saw GWP on anything other than the alcohol sector? Congrats to Mars France, for a genius GWP that supports the summer occasion (it’s an ice cream deal) and a collectable too! AND – here’s the kicker, a separate display in the frozen category! #Shopperinterruption

3. Another one from Mars France, who are knocking it out of the park here. Real innovation in cardboard display. High impact, self-filling pick & mix display. I've lost count of the number of client presentations I have seen for grocers around pick and mix iterations (across multiple clients), but yet to see one get away.  Here’s one that flew.

4. This laundrette, in a supermarket car park. Struggling to get shoppers to visit out of town supermarkets? Give them a reason to come. Wash and dry your double duvet while you shop! Genius!

5. This ( I kid you not) raw milk vending machine, also in a supermarket car park. 

Point of difference? Tick

Supporting local producers? Tick

Natural, wholesome? Tick  

Provenance? Tick

Convenience? Tick

Reason to make a trip to out of town supermarkets? Tick   (Note to Tesco – we’d like these here too please!)

6. Supporting the national team.  Making every person walk through an arch demonstrating support for France in the football, and, naturally, demonstrating the range of promotional merchandise on sale in store. Allez, E Leclerc!

7. Continuing the sporting theme, Carrefour gets kudos for managing to simultaneously support both the French national team in the Euros, and sponsor the Tour de France. See the footballs and the standee? It’s all about the red, white and blue (bleu, blanc, rouge?) colourways. Handily, this works for Carrefour as their corporate colours too.

8. A promotional display for ambient meat. Do we even have ambient meat in the UK? What, that’s not enough? Okay then consider their competition, win a camper van. Cochonnou are sponsors of the Tour de France – in this display and competition, they have brilliantly linked occasion, sponsorship, shopper, consumer, impact, together with a prompted impulse purchase on ambient charcuterie. All at front of store. Boom!

9. This one would be in there even without the Tour de France link. A branded front of store display for chilled meat. Two things: A branded chilled display! Why do we not have this? (If anyone has seen one anywhere, do let me know – tweet me @JosieProc. And second – branded meat!  Way to deliver trust and quality messages, with a nod in the name to national pride. Impressive. Oh and they also have giant chickens currently touring the country. Integrated meat marketing. Oh yes.  See @LeGauloisTDF on Twitter.

10. And finally (not technically Shopper Marketing but it involves a supermarket so it can squeeze in)… As a cycling fan, and working in FMCG with *cough* years of experience, I really should have known about this before. But was news to me until recently. Ahead of the cyclists in the Tour de France, comes 12 kilometres and 35 minutes of the ‘Caravane du Tour’. For all the talk of ‘consumers don’t like to be sold to’, millions of people turn out, to stand by the road in the rain or blazing sun to await this parade. They are essentially volunteering to be marketed to. This is an annual mass brand marketing and sampling exercise, this giant parade comprises 170 vehicles, 35 brands and 600 people.   Carrefour has a whopping NINE vehicles in the parade, which this year emphasised provenance, and hero-ed farmers. (what’s not to like about a lifesize plastic goat?)

Over the course of the three-week Tour, the brands will distribute 14 million samples to spectators lining the route.  Imagine this parade going through the streets of your home town. Some of these are global brands, some exist only in France.

A couple of snapshots, to illustrate. All photos taken from @CaravaneduTour

A giant tractor, demonstrating that chips do in fact, come from potatoes (note the UK language and FB UK logo on the side, targeting UK spectators, though other vehicles in McCain’s convoy are French branded).

A different sort of ice cream van.

Quintessentially French – le Cochonou uses red-checkered 2CVs to deliver spot on brand messages of quality & provenance.

Madeleines, are made of flour. And 2 million of them will be distributed across the route. (Reader, I bought some – and they were very tasty).

So there you have it. 10 reasons the French are better than the UK at shopper marketing, and so many learnings we could implement, if only the supermarkets corporate policies would let us. 

Disagree? I’d love to have that debate! Drop me a line….