Ben Bailey Crashes Aldi and Gets the Shoppers to Say What They Love About It

Goofball in Aisle 5

Attention, Aldi's shoppers: Do not be alarmed. The big man with a megaphone is harmless. We think.

Comedian and TV host Ben Bailey trades in his cash cab for a grocery cart and goofs around with Aldi customers in this Web video series created by Weber Shandwick for the discount supermarket chain.

The company plans to launch 45 stores in Southern California next year, and the campaign will "help introduce Aldi's unique and quirky ways to new markets and neighborhoods," says Weber executive creative director Jim Paul.

Under normal circumstances, those quirks don't include Bailey, armed here with an amplifier and whirling police light, accosting shoppers with questions (mostly, he asks what they like about the store). Still, it's all in good fun. The dude's down-to-earth, regular-guy persona feels right for a chain that charges folks to use its carts and makes them bag their own groceries in order to keep prices down.

Bailey, former host of Discovery Channel's Cash Cab, shot the hidden-camera spots in April at a Chicago-area store. "People were quick to call out their favorite products and how much money they save each month," he says. Indeed, the customers seem to be having a great time. For them, it was a change of pace from the dairy-case doldrums, no doubt. And, as advertising, the approach offers something a bit unexpected for the category (unexpected, though not supergeil).

A special shout-out goes to an elderly shopper named Herb, who basically steals the show with his high spirits, good-natured kibitzing and quips like, "Ben Bailey?! Never heard of you."

Herb will have you rolling in the aisles.

Client: Aldi
Director of Public Relations: Liz Ruggles
Marketing Manager: Erika Lempa

Agency: Weber Shandwick
Executive Creative Director: Jim Paul
Senior Vice President, Creative Director: Jeff Immel
Vice President, Creative Director: Dan Jividen
Copywriter: Mikinzie Stuart
Vice President, Executive Integrated Producer: Kim Mohan
Producer: Karen Carter
Executive Vice President: Allison Madell
Senior Vice President: Katy Pankau
Senior Vice President, Digital: Jonathan Sullivan
Vice Presidents: Eniko Bolivar, Emily Fisher
Vice President, Consumer Media Relations: Ernestine Sclafani
Director, Senior Media Specialist: Jennifer Parsons
Director, Digital: Nick Wille
Group Manager, Paid Media, Content Distribution: Allie Smith
Group Manager, Media Specialist: Alan Keane
Account Supervisors: Kristen Thompson, Caitlyn Andre, Carolina Madrid

Production Company: Accomplice Media
Director: Tom Feiler
Executive Producer: Mel Gragido
Editor: Christina Stumpf
Postproduction Company: Quriosity Productions
Sound Design, Mix: Joe Flood, Floodgate Studios