Thankyou products launched in major supermarkets

Both supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths have agreed to stock social enterprise Thankyou company’s ‘life changing products’. Thankyou (of Thankyou Water) was created as a way to fund water and hygiene projects in developing nations through Thankyou Food, Thankyou Water and Thankyou Body Care.

The brand has recently launched body products, breakfast cereals and museli bars, on top of its water range and all proceeds go to providing at least one week of food, drinking water or hygiene training to someone in need.

The products are now set to hit both stores’ shelves in the coming months. Coles and Woolworths both reportedly made their decisions just hours after taking meetings with Thankyou, a process that Thankyou co-founder and MD Daniel Flynn thought would take a lot longer.

“Veterans of the retail industry advised us that, even if we were able to convince Coles of the considerable benefits of stocking our products, we’d be lucky to get a product approved before Christmas.

“I think it’s safe to say we were surprised to receive a call only five hours after the meeting finished,” he says.

“It’s a surreal feeling. We’ve spent over a year developing the range and working on campaign strategy. This whole exercise was a massive risk for us, and it really could have gone either way.”

Flynn says that the success of the campaign had exceeded expectations and that the social enterprise had been overwhelmed by the support of the public. The campaign included a stunt in which Thankyou flew two helicopters (donated by benefactors), each carrying a 10,000-square foot (30 by 30-metre) banner over both Coles’ Melbourne headquarters in Hawthorn and Woolworths’ Sydney headquarters in Bella Vista, with the messages asking both retailers to help change the world.


Thank you estimates over 13 million people were reached during the two-week campaign through social media, online traffic and traditional media, and thousands of posts, including many creative videos, were placed on both Coles and Woolworths’ Facebook walls from Thankyou fans. They also featured celebrity endorsements from Australian media personalities such as Chrissie Swan and Jules Lund.

“It’s been amazing to see thousands of Australians post on both Coles and Woolworths’ Facebook pages in support of the Thankyou range. We’ve been blown away by the level of support,” says Flynn. 

“We set a goal to reach 10,000 views of the campaign video by the end of the campaign and we hit that number within the first day. It’s now had over 70,000 views, which is just huge!

Coles chief operating officer John Durkan says, “We are delighted to be adding the Thankyou range to our offering for customers. Not only will it raise funds for essential projects in developing countries, but they are also great products.

“We’ve listened to our customers, who told us they would support the Thankyou range if Coles stocked it. Now they’ll have the chance to do just that and make a difference with every product they buy.”

Cadbury and Woolworths partner for interactive campaign

The newest addition of Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations range will only be sold at Woolworths as part of a partnership between the chocolate brand and supermarket. The campaign for Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Banana Candy, Peanut Drops and Choc Biscuit will also allow consumers to vote for it to keep it on the shelves.

The launch of the new product will be be supported by a TVC and a campaign encompassing TV, PR, out of home, point of sale and digital. The campaign, conceived by Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, asks chocolate lovers to get involved and vote on whether the new creation should stay on shelves or not.

The 15-second TVC will air nationally on 10 July and features the ‘Joymobile’  driving down a winding country road before the driver hits a purple button on the dashboard and a mysterious box gently slides out the back door and is left behind on the road. Next, a Woolworths truck pulls up and the driver hops out to investigate the mysterious package – as he opens it, a purple light illuminates his awe struck face as the joyful contents are revealed.

Voters will be directed to the Joyville Facebook game, created by Visual Jazz Isobar, where a Joyville chef is standing on a trampoline ready for launch and a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ button sits underneath with a meter that registers the users built up clicks. As the meter fills up, the chef will bounce higher and higher until being launched into the sky and taking a joyful journey to land at his final destination, depending on which way the user has voted. The results will be revealed on 7 August.

Ben Wicks, general manager marketing chocolate for Cadbury Dairy Milk, says he is excited by the new campaign which demonstrates the power of customer collaboration and cross-platform innovation.

“We are proud to be working with Woolworths on a market-leading campaign that creatively weaves the Joyville story with the Woolworths fresh food people messaging to deliver a TVC and 360-degree campaign that is quirky, playful and unique. We are confident our customers will absolutely love this new Marvellous Creations product and vote to keep it as part of the range permanently,” he says.

Gap closing in supermarket battle for low prices badge of honour

New survey results from Roy Morgan Research have highlighted that the gap between the supermarket’s fight for the ‘lowest prices’ title is closing, with half of  customers surveyed believing Coles has the lowest prices –  just two points ahead of Woolworths.

However, Aldi is still associated with low prices in the industry, with around nine in 10 of its customers saying the supermarket ‘has low prices’.

The last five years have seen the price wars between Coles and Woolworths heat up, with a huge focus placed on price. Coles in particular has fixated on price, with its big red finger and Curtis Stone’s $10 family meals.

From 2009 to the start of 2012, the proportion of Coles’ customers who said it has low prices jumped from around 1 in 3 to 1 in 2, while Woolworths hovered just over 40%. However in the last year Coles has fallen back and the rivals are now again almost on par.


Low price association with the supermarket where main grocery buyers shopPrice association

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2003 to March 2013, 12 months average n=8425. Base: Main Grocery Buyers 14+


Norman Morris, industry communications director, Roy Morgan Research, says, “Despite the strong five-year gains overall, still less than half of each supermarket’s customers associate it with low prices. The successful Coles ‘Down Down’ campaign that has aired for three years, would have played a considerable part in moving low price perception upwards among their customers, and been the point of difference that allowed Coles to pull ahead of Woolworths for cut-through of low prices.

“But perhaps the effectiveness of the ‘Down Down’ campaign has come to an end, with consumers tuning out the message after years of exposure: the latest March 2013 results reveal there is once again only a small gap between Coles and Woolworths customers, primarily due to a decline shown by Coles rather than any ground made by Woolworths.”


Woolies data buy signals serious business

This article was co-authored by Louis Keating, data strategy director at ngage.


What can we learn about big data from the news Woolworths has bought an equity stake in data marketing firm Quantium?

While Woolies is the first local retailer to make such a move, we have seen other large-scale transactional businesses make similar moves in other markets. Perhaps the most well-known example is that Tesco in the UK bought an ownership stake in Dunnhumby, the data agency that helped build the hugely successful Tesco Clubcard in the nineties.

In the past year Visa has also taken an equity stake in Beyond Analysis – set up by former Dunnhumby staffer Paul Alexander. Beyond Analysis is the company that has been helping Visa market its anonymous customer data.

So that’s an example of three very large organisations who see customer data as critical to their future business, so much so they have taken an equity stake in their preferred data suppliers.

It seems, in the complex world of data, this is becoming a more attractive model, and we predict that we will see more of this model in other sectors besides retail.

Woolies now has access to some of the best data analysts, resources and tools in the Australian market. Additionally, the retailer is building its data capabilities through the ‘partner’ business rather than having to build them in house. For Quantium’s other clients, there is now another high-volume data stream that can be applied to improve their businesses.

The deal is sure to give Woolworths a competitive advantage and is a signal to other businesses that it’s time to take their data seriously. Woolies will be able to understand their shoppers in greater depth, and this knowledge will perhaps even allow the retailer to react to market conditions in real time. It’s feasible they would be able to price goods dynamically as demand changes, and see opportunities for cross-sell and up-sell that were not visible before.

Other large retailers and businesses with large volumes of transactional data should be looking at their infrastructure, their data assets, identifying where the gaps are and what needs to be done to address them.

But, while shopper and transactional data are key, there are many other data sources that companies could consider: demographic data, in-store video monitoring, mobile-based location, real-time social media, even weather data.

A McKinsey study released in May 2011 stated that, by maximising the potential of big data, retailers stood to increase their operating margins by up to 60%.

The joining together of these two organisations will be more complex than flicking a switch – this is clearly a longer-term strategy that will require testing and learning to discover the best way forward. And Woolies would be shy of making drastic changes to their current program, which appears to work quite well, too soon.

It will be fascinating to see what steps Woolworths and Quantium will take along that path and what the future holds for these two companies.


Is three a crowd in the home improvement market?

Two-thirds of the Australian population buying something every year from home-improvement market leader Bunnings, and the introduction of Woolworths-owned Masters Home Improvement has apparently done little to eat into the market share of rival chains.

But the new kid on the home improvement superstore block is slowly growing in popularity  with the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research indicating that Masters has been increasing its customer base consistently over the last year, with 8% of Australians aged 14 or over having bought something there, which is up 3% from a year ago.

The affects of the new store aren’t being felt too deeply by main competitor Bunnings, with consumers paying an average of seven visits to the store per year, compared to just three by Masters shoppers.

Fellow competitor Mitre 10 hasn’t seen much change over the last year,  with 17% of the population buying something there each year and averaging five trips to the store annually.

Industry communications director at Roy Morgan Research, Norman Morris, says on the research results, “Since opening nearly two years ago, Masters has almost 30 stores and is now trading in most Australian states. Its association with the reality TV program House Rules would also be boosting its profile. However, its lack of impact on customers at Bunnings and Mitre 10 suggests shoppers have added Masters to their retail repertoire rather than stopped shopping at its competitors.

“With the increased level of competition in the hardware field, it’s no longer just about wheelbarrows, nails and power tools. Masters is appealing to customers who want to change or improve their home décor as well, with a large range of decorating products on offer and even a section dedicated to ‘Ideas & Inspiration’ on their website,” he says.


You beauty, Woolworths is getting a makeover

Woolworths has unveiled a new beauty retail format to be situated at Woolworths Town Hall supermarket in Sydney’s CBD.

Claiming to be a first for Australian supermarkets, Woolworths Beauty will feature beauty bars with dedicated beauty consultants offering treatments, tips, advice and samples, as well as LED screens and beauty TV to create an integrated and experiential consumer destination.

“We wanted the design to be much like a destination, creating not only an enjoyable physical experience with beautiful products to match, but one that informs shoppers,” says Jaid Hulsbosch, director at Hulsbosch, the communications firm that designed the format.

Woolworths Beauty


A strategic departure from the grocery sector’s more traditional model of hair and beauty, this move looks to “respect not only Woolworths as a brand – its values, personality and proposition – but the consumer experience,” adds Hulsbosch.

Woolworths enters the premium beauty market on the back of encouragement from the trend in Asia Pacific that is forecast to generate an extra US$5 billion worth of premium sales by 2016.

A departure from the norm for supermarkets, Hulsbosch believes the interactivity, and ability to engage consumers through a “sense of drama”, will reinforce Woolworths as a leader in its category.


Woolworths’ ‘Happy Feaster’ outdoor ads are on the nose

Woolworths has launched its Easter lead-up outdoor ads with a unique twist: they emit the odour of hot cross buns.

With a series of hot cross bun-scented displays on show as part of Woolworths’ ‘Happy Feaster’ campaign, the aroma of freshly-baked Easter treats is wafting from the ad unit courtesy of a ‘push-to-smell’ mechanism devised by JC Decaux.

The campaign comes on the back of 2012′s Woolworths/Reed Pacific/News Limited scented full page advertisements in the mX Sydney newspaper, including a scented strawberries and cream flavour ad.

Another Woolworths ad that featured in mX late last year also carried a Christmas cake scent, so it’s clear that Woolworths is keen to pursue this line of customer attraction and drive them in-store.

“Everyone loves the smell of hot cross buns, so it’s a real treat to bring the aroma to life for Woolworths’ Happy Feaster campaign,” says Doug McNamee, marketing manager at Reed Pacific.


Shop A Docket moves to monthly schedule boosting timeliness

Shop A Docket will switch its metro advertising media schedule from a six-week cycle to monthly distributions in the hope of giving consumers greater access to a wide range of offers. The shift in timings will also allow advertisers to vary their offers more frequently.

National sales manager of Shop A Docket, Tim Wingrove, explains the current six-week cycle for advertising in metropolitan regions has “outlasted its use-by-date”, been “complicated and confusing for advertisers and consumers”, and failed to “match up with standard industry advertising practices”.

The first monthly offers will be introduced to Coles, Woolworths, Big W, Target, Kmart, Bi-Lo, IGA stores and online on 1 April.

“This is one of the most significant changes in Shop A Docket’s 25-year history,” says Wingrove. “Logistically it means an additional three print runs a year, and the added transportation and delivery of thousands of rolls to supermarkets and variety stores across the country.”

Benefits for advertisers include shorter lead time to market, the ability to change offers more frequently, and prepare advertising campaigns around seasonal aspects of their business. Yet according to Wingrove, those who will capitalise most will be consumers.

“The major winners will be consumers, who will start to see more offers on their shopping receipts and online, more often,” informs Wingrove.

With the current national offer count approaching the 3000 mark, and with Shop A Docket’s business model continually evolving, predominantly in regard to promoting advertisers through digital campaign, Wingrove embraces the changing of the guard.

“Our success has been built around the printed medium, but in the next few months we’ll be announcing some exciting changes to our online marketing initiatives that will really change the face of Shop A Docket,” he says.



Woolies tries ‘NewsScent Technology’ in scented cake ads

Woolworths has turned to scented ads to stimulate sales in the lead up to Christmas, using News Ltd’s ‘NewsScent Technology’.

The campaign involves two executions – one that carries the scent of strawberries and cream and another the scent of a Christmas cake – in a bid to stimulate the senses and get people shopping for the festive season.

The first execution ran in yesterday’s mX Sydney, as a full page ad of a strawberries and cream scented pavlova to link with a similarly scented wall at Sydney’s Town Hall.

The second will run mX Sydney’s annual Christmas issue on Wednesday, carrying a Christmas cake scent.

General manager of sales at News Australia Sales, Neil Robinson, says Woolworths worked closely with News’ production team and Reed Pacific Media to create the scents. “With Woolworths, we are showcasing another new dimension to advertising in print as well as a new multi-sensory experience for consumers, which can only aid impact and recall,” Robinson says.

Marketing manager at Reed Pacific Media (RPM), Doug McNamee, claims NewsScent will revolutionise the use of print media in Australia and add a dynamic element for advertisers. “RPM is extremely excited to have partnered with News and Woolworths to bring this to the market.”

Private label falters for first time in 5 years, erodes store loyalty

Private label supermarket brands have faltered for the first time in five years, with shoppers reverting back to branded goods putting private labels’ growth rate into decline.

The finding from Nielsen’s private label study show that while the majority of households buy private labels from Coles and Woolworths, its penetration dropped from 95.5% to 94.8% year on year for the July to September quarter.

The drop is believed to be due to the reduction in price of many branded goods as the price war in the supermarkets heats up, causing consumers to switch back from private labels to now-cheaper branded offers.

It’s been seen most markedly is the biscuit, canned fruit/ fruit snacks and cake/ pies and fresh pastries categories, which fell by 4.6%, 3.9% and 3.1% respectively, according to the researcher.

“There has been a closing of price gaps between branded and private label products recently which is being largely driven by retailer price wars,” Nielsen’s retail industry group executive director Kosta Conomos says.

The findings follow a report from IBISWorld in July which claimed private label sales had surged, particularly in some categories. However, a report from TNS earlier in the year warned of growing annoyance among consumers at Coles and Woolworths for pushing branded products off the shelves to make way for their own brands. Nielsen believes this backlash may also be a factor behind the decline.

The report also found years of battling for market share through private labels had also made Coles and Woolworths shoppers more price conscious and eroded loyalty to the stores themselves.

Consumers now see less price differentiation between Coles and Woolworths, according to the report, but instead viewed lower shelf prices, reward cards and private labels as a given.

“Shoppers are now seeing zero differentiation between pricing in Coles and Woolworths compared to three years ago when Woolworths was largely given credit for lower prices,” Conomos adds.

The proportion of consumers who shop between both Coles and Woolworths have risen to 88.1% in 2012, from 87.9% in 2011, Nielsen said.


Woolworths Ltd snares Tesco Lotus marketing guru for new group marketing role

Woolworths Limited has created a marketing directorship for the company, in what seems a clear indication of a coming group-level, aggressive marketing stance for the publicly-listed company, with Tesco Lotus CMO Kurt Kamp joining the company later this month.

The newly-created role will see Kamp head up marketing for Woolworths supermarkets, Big W, BWS, Dan Murphy’s, Masters Home Improvement and the company’s hotel and petrol station assets.

Kamp has previously held senior marketing roles with Pepsi, Hero and Danone, and most recently was CMO of Tesco Lotus, the Asian hypermarket chain based in Thailand.

Reporting to Woolworths Limited managing director and CEO, Grant O’Brien, Kamp will be more senior than group general manager of consumer and corporate marketing Luke Dunkerley, although it’s not yet know whether Dunkerley will report to Kamp or O’Brien.