Visa using eyes-on-the-prize tactic

A major campaign is virtually stalking grocery shoppers to help them visualize what they could win in a new contest.

Until May 31, Visa card users have a chance to win big in the Free Groceries For a Year Giveaway contest. But what might such a prize actually look like? That’s the theme behind a multi-touchpoint campaign devised by a Toronto-based team from Leo Burnett, Arc and Starcom.

The objective is to increase Visa card usage by food shoppers, says Leo B account exec Melissa Rorison. ‘Because we were looking to encourage a behaviour, we wanted to ensure we reached consumers at key points during their payment decision process – from the home to the grocery store – with multiple messages that interconnect.’ The creative consumers will see along the way dramatizes the amount of groceries consumers could win by showing the average amount of food a family consumes in a year.

The executions include dramatic outdoor posters showing head-high piles of food deployed on transit shelters and mall posters within 1,000 feet of major grocery stores Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. Each will be refreshed with a different food every three-four weeks. As well, there are 3-D ‘stunt TSAs’ in Toronto and Montreal which consists of custom-fitting transit shelter walls to seemingly contain real food (potato chips, hot dogs and eggs). Another OOH component involves Motomedia Trucks distributing Visa-branded reusable grocery bags at the front entrances of grocery stores in Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto during peak shopping hours.

The campaign’s other reminders about the contest prize include: a 30-second TV spot on national networks called ‘Sumo Wrestler,’ which features the current world wrestling champ (who also stars in the upcoming movie Ocean’s 13). For Slice, SRC and Food TV, there’s a 30-second spot integrated within food and cooking shows with AIMs (Animated Integrated Messages), squeezebacks and even personalized mentions of the contest by Ricardo Larrivee, host of Ricardo (daily on SRC) and Ricardo & Friends (weekly on the Food Network).

For the print element, there is a double-page spread in the March/April issue of Ricardo magazine. It is positioned immediately prior to the regular feature of five Monday-Friday meal recipes and includes sponsorship of the magazine’s popular pull-out shopping list.

The online component of the campaign includes an interactive branded shopping list where consumers can create their own grocery shopping list with an interactive tool, then print it out to take to the store. The site has a distinctive media execution with two ads (banner and skyscraper) interacting with one another as a grocery conveyor belt tumbles groceries into Visa-branded grocery bags.

Media planning and buying for the Visa campaign were handled by Starcom Worldwide. Television, OOH and print advertising was developed by Leo Burnett Toronto, with French-language adaptation handled by Montreal’s Martel et compagnie. Online advertising was developed by Arc Worldwide.