Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hop off the subway and buy your groceries -- before ever coming up for air...

As we discussed last month in a separate review, online grocery shopping and home delivery services are still in their infancy. But regional leader Peapod is stepping up their promotional efforts with the installation of a massive, visually stunning campaign right here in the heart of Chicago.

Located inside the heavily traversed passageways of the CTA Lake St. Station – a Red Line subway stop serving the upper right quadrant of the Loop – the interactive promotion is both equal parts brand-building and revenue-seeking.

While Chicago is Peapod’s largest market, the online grocer first tested the virtual store campaign in Philadelphia train stations last month.

A Real Game-Changer for Advertising in Public Spaces

The nearly 60-foot tunnel was transformed into a virtual supermarket aisle overnight.

By more closely resembling traditional store aisle/shelf layout, the campaign does little to put would-be customers at ease with the very different buying experience presented to them on the web.

It does however articulate the hip/fresh energy of the brand itself.

Ad copy encourages smartphone users to scan and buy from an assortment of Peapod’s best sellers.
Two bonus incentives are designed to:
          a. attract new customers - $20 off first orders 
          b. earn their repeat patronage – Free shipping for first 60 days

But let’s face it; is anyone really going to buy from the ad?

It’s estimated that some 17,000+ passengers trudge through the Lake St. Station every day. Would you come to a screeching halt and start pointing your phone at a sticker; all the while immersed in a sea of fast-moving commuters and starry-eyed tourists?

So, no –a few may buy, but not many. But that’s not the point.

Although fundamentally both brand awareness and retailing, we don’t think anyone at Peapod is looking for the campaign to become a legitimate channel of distribution.

The installation is really all about generating buzz and encouraging online trial.

During the campaign’s 12 week run, it will coyly tease CTA train-riders; many no doubt over-worked and stretched for time.

Day in, day out – in its own omnipresent way – the promo will challenge city dwellers to re-envision their grocery-getting routine. With Peapod, you’ll no longer need to find the time or energy. You won’t have to brave inclement weather or lug heavy packs of soda and awkward shaped sacks of dog food.

Simply download the app or login online, build, save, and send grocery lists, and be dressed when the delivery guy comes a knockin’!

"Transfers Available via Peapod 'Virtual Store'"

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