Whole Foods network targets creative down to stores and zones

March 13, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Raji Kalra from Planet-Tek Systems, the Toronto-area company that runs the Marketplace Station digital signage network in Whole Foods Markets up here, sent me a note/press release telling me about a program they have started with a vendor called Seventh Generation.

In the interests of disclosure, Raji’s a client, but I’m noting this because it’s interesting.

While way too many networks and network advertisers are making one ad and running it everywhere, or even just shoveling a broadcast piece on a retail screen, these guys have done things very differently.

Two stores, 14 zoned screens, 22 different ad spots, one vendor.

Seventh Generation, the leading brand of environmentally friendly household products, and Whole Foods Market are embarking on an in-store education initiative named ‘Home Healthy Home’. The initiative is focused on increasing consumer’s knowledge of the environmental and personal health benefits that ‘green’ household products offer. A cornerstone of the campaign is the delivery of contextual digital commercials across seven in-store stations including the Ecological Station and extending out to areas such as The Produce Station, The Grocery Station, and even The Meat and Poultry Station.

The Marketplace Station concept, which is implemented at Whole Foods Market Ontario locations, provides 10 unique in store digital stations for vendors to utilize to enhance their point-of-purchase marketing initiatives through measurable, tactical, and customizable communications. “I was impressed with the store-wide digital station concept that allowed for us to connect with consumers contextually in different departments” says Rob Hoyt, the Retail Concept Manager, for Seventh Generation. “Our digital campaign is part of a marketing strategy that will help us to build both brand and product association in each department directly to consumers as part of their shopping experience across the store and drive them to the home cleaning aisle. It’s all about education. If we can help people understand the environmental and personal health connection between the products they are putting in their cart and what they clean their home with – it is a powerful message. The Marketplace Station helps us do that.”

The campaign encompasses 11 custom designed digital commercials per location that covers product categories that include cleaners, laundry, diapers, and dishes. All digital production and media placement, was handled by The Marketplace Station team, was produced in a manner to provide a balance of product information, environmental tips, and direction to learn more about the products in the ecological department. 

So, the content is slightly different in the decidely urban Yorkville store from the upscale suburban Oakville store, and all the content is contextually relevant right to that shopping zone – so I assume you are not seeing “green” laundry tips in meat and poultry, but maybe something on cleansers that would kill meat and poultry bacteria on countertops. 

As noted, I work with these guys, so of course I’m enthused by what they do. But they are also doing some really nice work in a mid-sized grocery environment, and both targeting and servicing small, almost boutique vendors whose products aren’t well known and can effectively use screen networks to drive awareness and sales.

From what I hear, the retailer is very happy with what they’re seeing. 

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