As the nation reeled from the news that Zayn Malik had left One Direction, Lidl offered a ray of light in the gloom - by offering a fifth of its One Direction Easter Egg. In a post on its Facebook and Twitter feeds it said: "#Awkward - looks like we'll just have to knock 1/5 off too. #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik #ByeZayn" and it knocked the price of the egg down from 99p to 79p.
The news that Malik was leaving the band was released in a statement yesterday afternoon. He said: "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band." By the evening, Lidl's marketing team had come up with the idea, produced the advert, and posted it online.
On social media the response was overwhelmingly positive. One Twitter user said: "I don't give two hoots about One Direction, but Lidl that was well played", another Tweeted: "Lidl have taken a fifth off the price of their One Direction Easter eggs and I am never going to shop anywhere else."
This isn't the first time Lidl has impressed with its quirky adverts. Back in October, when Morrisons announced it would be price matching Lidl and Aldi, its advert said: "Morrisons have found a way to match Lidl's prices*" and then listed a 28 step process someone might have to go through in order to take advantage of the scheme, followed by the words "Or you could just go to Lidl".
A week earlier, Sainsbury's was the target of the supermarket's humour, after one store accidentally displayed a poster that had been intended for display in staff areas, to challenge employees to encourage people to spend 50p more on each shop. Lidl responded with adverts featuring its own Fifty pence challenge, saying: "Lets encourage every one of our lovely customers to save as many 50ps as possible."
The only people not enjoying the joke this time around are likely to be devoted One Direction fans, but presumably nothing would cut through their gloom at the moment: not even a cut-price egg featuring their favourite band
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