Disney+ collectables to entice customers to spend grocery budget at Woolworths

With more of us spending money on cooking at home rather than eating out, Woolworths is enticing customers to come to its store over others with a new range of collectables.
Woolworths Disney Plus Collectables August 2020 launch
Woolworths has launched a new range of collectables. Will you buy in? Image supplied.

In yet another round of the back-and-forth rivalry of supermarket collectables campaigns, Woolworths has relaunched its Ooshies collection of Disney+ characters today.

The new campaign comes hot on the heels of main competitor Coles ditching the plastic at its stores in favour of collectable mini children’s books, which have been criticised over a lack of variety and inappropriate content.

Woolworths Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Hicks said the supermarket was aware many Australian families have had a challenging year due to the pandemic, so it was hoped the Disney promotion would give customers something to look forward to from their everyday shop.

In the Woolworths promotion, there are 36 different toys to collect across the Marvel, Star Wars, Disney and Pixar universes, with special “glitter” versions of four characters available as well.

According to News.com.au, a deal between Woolworths and participating brands including Tip Top, Devondale, Energizer, Vegemite and Uncle Toby’s means customers could receive an extra Ooshie at the checkout this time around if they buy selected products from those brands, with a limit of five bonus collectables per transaction.

In addition, Woolworths customers would typically receive an Ooshie with every $30 they spend in store or online in a single transaction, while stocks last or until 20 October.

While not every Aussie shopper would be driven by the collectables frenzy, recent data suggests many of us won’t have too much trouble spending that amount on groceries at the moment, with more of us cooking at home rather than going out in recent months.

Economists have noted how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased spending on home-based items such as groceries, house furnishings and equipment, at the expense of spending on discretionary items like clothes and eating out.

Consumer spending more on groceries - AMP Capital - 26.08.20
Sourced from AMP Capital’s Econosights report, August 2020.

Pressure to spend more during a pandemic might not land well with some parents

Though we’re spending more on groceries, parents are still likely to be watching out for the health of their grocery budget under the strain of campaigns targeted at children.

Parents have previously told Canstar of their frustration at the ‘pester power’ that can emerge from collectables campaigns, whereby parents may feel pressure from their children to switch grocery stores depending on who has the best promotion, or to spend more than they had otherwise planned in order to score a new toy.

Canstar Editor-in-Chief Nina Tovey said while it’s fun for kids and good to see the plastic toys in Woolworths’ new campaign are recyclable, the reality is this type of pressure to spend more is the last thing many Australian families need in the middle of a recession.

“Having two kids myself, I can tell you the ‘tug on the sleeve’ phenomenon is real,” Ms Tovey said.

“Knowing figurines from the movies they love are up for grabs and hearing all their friends talking about their collections makes the pull even stronger.

“That said, when we take the time to explain to our children the idea behind these marketing campaigns, many kids can easily grasp how they work. And if you’re lucky, they might even start to understand that golden rule of not spending more purely to get their hands on a prize.”

Victorians to miss out on collectables, but could save on streaming

Victorian shoppers in lockdown conditions will miss out on the toys for now, according to Woolworths, but they might be able to score some savings on household entertainment instead.

Woolworths said it would delay the launch at Victorian stores until lockdown restrictions ease, with a statement on its website saying it planned to launch the campaign in the state “when the time is right.”

“We know some customers in Victoria will be disappointed by the delayed roll out, but the safety and wellbeing of our customers, team members, and community remains our number one priority,” Mr Hicks said.

Victorian shoppers signed up to Everyday Rewards may, however, be emailed details this week for how to secure a 14-day free trial of Disney+, according to Woolworths.

The streaming service does not normally offer a free trial for regular users at the time of writing, requiring them to start a subscription the day they sign up.

To get the free trial, Victorian shoppers should not have previously subscribed to, or already claimed a free trial of, Disney+.

Having copped criticism about the environmental waste impacts of handing out mass amounts of plastic collectables in the past, Woolworths said it would again offer customers a more sustainable way to recycle any unwanted Ooshies with dedicated bins at each store until 31 January, 2021.

The toys would be turned into plastic pellets and used to make outdoor items such as garden beds, decks and fences, Woolworths said.

Full terms and conditions of the promotion can be found on Woolworths’ website.

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This article was reviewed by our Sub-editor Tom Letts before it was published as part of our fact-checking process.

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