Your client’s ad message at local supermarkets
Digital is poised for growth over the next year
September 26, 2016
The big reason has been cost. It takes a large investment to set up a digital advertising network, and so supermarkets have largely held off on embracing them.
That is about to change, however.
Over the next 18 months digital advertising availability will go from about 40-50 stores across the country to more than 300, according to one industry estimate.
The new digital options include screens near checkout lines that run a short loop of advertising content.
These screens are in addition to other in-store methods that have been around for years, such as ads on the back of register receipt tape, print ads on shopping carts and basic signage near entrances.
To find out how to get your client at supermarkets, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Advertising at supermarkets.
There are a handful of out-of-home vendors that handle both local and national advertising at supermarkets. There are also a couple companies that handle basic ad options at stores, such as coupon dispensers in aisles.
How it works
The most basic ad options at supermarkets include ad-wrapped benches outside of the store, ads on shopping carts, coupons on receipt register tape, ads on conveyor belt dividers and the occasional vinyl ad on supermarket floors.
Advertisers can also place signage near store entrances on displays where the weekly coupon circulars are distributed.
There are also a few emerging digital options at grocery stores.
One is 32-inch screens near checkout aisles that run a motion-graphics loop of ads without sound. The loop is typically four minutes long, which ensures most shoppers will see at least part of the loop.
Another newer digital option is screens near deli or butcher counters, which also run a four-minute loop of ads. The displays also alert customers when it’s their turn, replacing the old “take a number” system.
Advertising in supermarkets is available in all markets.
Digital options are mainly available in markets in Northeastern states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland.
Digital is expected to roll out in Los Angeles in late 2017 or early 2018.
There were 38,015 supermarkets that had at least $2 million in sales each in 2015, according to Progressive Grocer magazine.
Consumers made an average of 1.5 trips per week to the supermarket last year, according to the Food Marketing Institute.
How it is measured
Supermarkets use store transactions to estimate impressions. This is considered a conservative estimate, since not everybody who enters a store completes a transaction.
What product categories work well
Recent or current supermarket advertisers include food products, consumer packaged goods, health insurance, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, medical services and auto repair shops.
Advertisers can target specific demographics based on where a store is located. For example, buyers can target a more upscale audience at stores in affluent neighborhoods or college kids at stores in college towns.
Grocery shoppers skew female, although by how much depends on whom you ask. According to the Food Marketing Institute, 76 percent of women claim to have all or most of the grocery shopping responsibility, while 57 percent of men say they mainly handle it.
Making the buy
Typical lead time is two to three months, which includes designing and printing ads. Lead time for digital ads can be much shorter, in some cases just days.
Pricing varies based on the media used and the number of stores. The general range is between $70 and $250 per week, per store.
Who’s already been at supermarkets
Current or recent brands that have used grocery stores include State Farm, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Twix, Motrin, Humana, McDonald’s, Taco John’s and Life Savers.
What they’re saying
“When you bought an ad in a newspaper, the prevailing strategy was to cross your fingers and hope people saw it. With supermarkets, all you have to do is hope people continue to eat. If you have to eat, you must go to the grocery store.” — Peter Broccole, president and chief executive officer at Adcorp Media Group.
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