Free Cuthbert – A Marketing Duel

Free Cuthbert - A Marketing DuelCheck Mate For M&S

In April 2021 we saw one of the best marketing gimmicks for a long time ‘Free Cuthbert’, Aldi spring boarding on the M&S iconic Colin The Caterpillar.

M&S created Colin The Caterpillar 30 years ago in 1990, and it has stood the test of time at just £7.00.

Trademark infringement, intellectual property call it what you will, we all know where Colin The Caterpillar lives.

When Aldi launched Cuthbert The Caterpillar the M&S legal team responded as you would expect.

The beauty of this story is the shear speed that team Aldi responded, using social media to tease M&S through their marketing.

‘This is not just food, this is M&S food’ is a slogan we all know from their TV adverts.

When Aldi used this in their social media response ‘this is not just any court case…’

Humour In Marketing Counts

Did Aldi know M&S would take legal action?

Probably, but using marketing and the power of social media created a new brand #FreeCuthbert.

This is very interesting as two retail competitors joking to each other on Twitter whilst a fairly serious legal issue is thrashed out.

Speed In Marketing Counts

Aldi took only a few hours to jump on social media to milk this with mimes, jokes and using M&S adverts to twist the sword.  One can only wonder if this was planned earlier?

We live it a very fast moving consumer society, sometimes the first one to speak us is the winner, even if there is a legal bill pending.

Creativity In Marketing Counts

Using the M&S slogan ‘this is not just..’ was very creative, and often this is what will bring you out on top.

Social media is a very new and powerful marketing tool, that when used right, can earn you pure gold in audience numbers.

Battle Of The Brands

2021 has been a challenging year for many, but looking at two retail giants clashing swords, the question spills over other brands.

Dominos Vs Pappa Johns

McDonalds Vs Burger King

Costa Vs Starbucks

Coca Cola Vs Pepsi – although this one has already been done via the taste test disaster.

Marketing for any retail company is going to be expensive and challenging, however maybe Aldi got this one right,

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