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2020 Gold Best Data Storytelling


Agency: Table19

Client: Sainsbury’s

Campaign Name: Sainsbury's Data Playback

Campaign Overview

Causing a stir by crowning champion customers

Sainsbury’s needed a way to maintain the loyalty and spend of its most valuable customers while dialling back the consistent flow of margin-busting money-off and points coupons they had come to expect.


Insight showed that by serving its most loyal customers regular rewards, Sainsbury’s ‘trained’ them to expect money-off and points-based coupons every time they were contacted by the grocer.

The retailer was effectively paying for their loyalty. This posed a challenge in an ever-changing supermarket landscape where value messaging was rife, competitors were regularly targeting each other’s customers, and customers themselves were admitting they were becoming less loyal.

The research suggested that customers were positive about receiving targeted messages that spoke to them personally and thanked them for their custom. They also responded well to communications that showed a deeper understanding and recognition of them as customers.

The answer lay in the swipe of their Nectar card, day after day, shop after shop. In this transactional data lay a previously unexplored ocean of personal shopping information.


Sainsbury’s changed the use of its traditional one-to-one channels. Communications to this audience tended to focus on pushing offers or reminding customers to use their reward coupons. Instead it rolled out a series of personalised playbacks detailing how it was helping them to Live Well for Less.

The creative celebrated their loves, personal tastes and favourite counters by awarding Top Buyer recognition badges. Being crowned the ninth biggest buyer of flat white mushrooms in London gave customers unexpected kudos.

Sainsbury’s positioning was brought to life by celebrating customers’ healthier choices, reminding them how much they had saved and how many Nectar points they had gained.

Context was added to communications to improve engagement: awarding Star Baker prizes for frequent buyers of home-baking products during The Great British Bake-Off resonated particularly well.

The storytelling continued by aggregating data to enhance relevancy, for example telling customers that 1,403,528 more avocados had been bought in June compared to the previous year, so shoppers were always on-trend.


Sainsbury’s found extra sales headroom with its most valuable customers.

The campaign unleashed the power of transactional and shopping behavioural data to deepen the connections Sainsbury’s had with its best customers by recognising and celebrating their shopping habits.

Customers took to social media to tell the world about their shopping achievements, revelling in their new-found fame. Radio 1 DJ Greg James shared it live on air with his 5.69 million listeners. They were inspired to get in touch and share their stats and he picked his top 10 Sainsbury's shoppers.

The in-app data playback campaign received 2.1 million unique views and drove 11,000 social shares. On the first day of the campaign the Nectar app enjoyed its busiest-ever 24 hours.

In addition, 98% of overall email recipients ‘liked’ the communication. The initiative also delivered an uplift in key customer sentiment measures.

The Team

"Table19 - Sarah Cobb, Business Director - Emma Clark, Head of Strategy - Freya McKeown, Senior Account Manager - Emma Leaney, Senior Art Director - Hugo Bennett, Copywriter - Sebastian Weston, Planning Director - Avalon Fitzpatrick, Account Director
Sainsburys - Thomas Waghorn, Campaign Manager "