Woolworths “Jeans Rock” campaign gets Rocked by Criticism.


Woolworths “Jeans Rock” campaign gets Rocked by Criticism.

It all started off yesterday afternoon when I had seen the new Woolworths “Jeans Rock This Winter” campaign showcasing their latest products in conjunction with some of South Africa’s latest talent. One of the girls featured in the ad, Chiano Sky Kruger, is the new kid on the block. I happened to pay attention this ad due to the fact that I knew Chiano from school. If I’m not mistaken she had just started as a grade 8 pupil when I was in grade 10. So the age gap only differs by two. I thought I’d be nice an post a comment on the Woolworths Fan page even though they have been under public scrutiny recently.

Under Fire- 

Let me fill you in a bit. Woolworths is basically the Marks & Spencer’s of South Africa. The retailer and food outlet has been a public favourite for many years due to their quality of both clothing and food. However, in the last couple of years the brand has really slipped and now with the use of social media, consumers are finding a voice they never knew they had. With the many platforms available, such as; Facebook, Twitter and HelloPeter consumers are no longer settling for less than perfect. Which is completely fair, considering the Woolworths standard that everyone was so familiar with has been compromised. They were recently involved in a case with a beverage company called Frankies, whereby Woolworths, had plagiarized their packaging and flavors.

Here you can see the distinct infringement. Needless to say Frankies won their case and Woolworths was feeling the heat. Consumers were refusing to buy from Woolworths based on principle.  

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns

It was not long after Frankies that Woolworths found themselves in Hot Buns, I mean Water! Yesterday on twitter, the Christian community turned on Woolworths in outrage due their improved “Halaal” Hot Cross Bun Recipe. We often see religious holidays being exploited but Woolworths managed to take it to the next level. Easter to Christians is what Pasach is to the Jews. We all have our traditions and as a leading brand, your consumers are ultimately your voice. Your consumers determine your brand. It’ll never matter how big of a giant you are in your particular industry because your consumers determine your rise, including your fall. So with Easter being the annual holiday for Christians, they commemorate the season with a traditional pastry, marked with a cross symbolizes the crucifix. So how could Woolworths ever have thought that making a traditional pastry “Halaal” benefit themselves. It’s only proven to be more of an issue. Hot Cross Buns are what Matzo is to the Jews. You don’t screw with consumers boys & girls, ‘cos they ARE your religion. Without them, who believes in you? Who do you believe in?

The Consumerhood of Criticism-

I mentioned before that I had been quite patriotic toward supporting Chiano Sky and now present in the Jeans Ad. So I cam across this on Facebook and took some interest: So I clicked on the link and began watching. I was expecting more a buzz and was left quite disappointed but nonetheless I congratulated Chiano on her endeavor.  Chiano Sky is the girl with long straight hair- Jessie J looking in black and white. Take a look—-> 

A day after the release I had a Facebook notification, stating someone had liked my post. So I scrolled down just to see what everyone else had been thinking and came across the most amazing comment I have ever seen. Two woman battle it out. But it started off with an unsatisfied consumer and then snowballed. I managed to capture a screengrab of the conversation before Woolworths decided to delete any mention of the negativity. But I came a long and decided to forever immortalize it! *BOOM* Check it out:

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30 thoughts on “Woolworths “Jeans Rock” campaign gets Rocked by Criticism.

  1. I am SO fascinated by the Woolworths story. I’m thrilled that you wrote this piece. One of the things I love to examine is the way advertising impacts and reflects cultural memes.

    Some comments and questions:

    Okay, from this advert, what I’m seeing is that Woolworths is selling a lifestyle, not a pair of jeans. Do you know what I don’t like, if anything? I want to see those girls carrying instruments on stage. I want them to look like real musicians.

    (I have a feeling I’m missing something here. Are there celebrities in this advert? Who are they?)

    The Woolworths campaign is especially interesting because J.C. Penney’s in the States is now selling honesty— not goods or services.

    What do you think? Is this any better or worse than the Woolworth’s advert? Is it less threatening because Ellen DeGeneres isn’t acting zexy-zexy?

    I watched as this particular J.C. Penney’s ad debuted during the Academy Awards this year—

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