DW's Blog

To Theme or Not To Theme, That is The Question

by DW Green — October 10, 2018

Picture of DW Green.

Let’s crock and roll!!

I have always been a proponent of using themes for the cover page of weekly ads.

In my view, the purpose of the weekly ad is to attract new ad readers and new customers to the store. The purpose of attracting new customers is an important distinction, since most consumers who read weekly ads tend to read only those of their primary food store.

Theme cover pages lend themselves to strong, compelling headlines and storytelling, two important factors for attracting new ad readers and new customers. Additionally, theme ads differentiate retailers print advertising from competitors, create complementary product sales and provide in-store merchandising opportunities. Conventional wisdom suggest otherwise. Many national and regional retailers take the “laundry list” approach to cover page ads. This modus operandi involves featuring a dozen or so items, normally one item from each store department, presented in a value hierarchy from the top to the bottom of the page. This strategy may help with a value perception but it rarely helps differentiate the store or attract a new reader or new shopper unless the price of the feature item is considerably less than the competition. In Phoenix, where I live, the local supermarket ads all look the same. The items and the prices are nearly identical, only the company logo is different. Rarely do I see a food store ad that grabs my attention or provides me a good reason to shop somewhere else.

When we prepare promotional calendars we either build the promotion around themes, or build themes around specific items. In a sense that’s why holiday weeks and their natural themes are so easy to plan!

Saw this Sprouts Theme promotion on Monday. Let’s crock and roll!! CROKTOBER! Cook low and slow…Let those fall flavors sing!

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