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OREO and PHX Savor Sweet, Sweet Victory

It’s a big world of shopper marketing out there, with lots of companies. Companies with bigger budgets. Sometimes, though, it’s not the dollars that win. It’s the work. It’s the heart. Phoenix Creative was just awarded the coveted Super REGGIE at the 2019 ANA Awards Gala. It was a surprise and an honor to be presented with a trophy for the best Shopper Marketing Campaign of the year. Are we pumped about it? Heck yeah!

 

As we celebrate the victory, however, we know that it’s grounded in good work. Hard work. Work that really moved the dial for OREO and its parent company, Mondelēz International.

 

Our contribution to the launch of OREO Mint Hot Chocolate at 7-Eleven stores nationwide included a blend of traditional and digital marketing tools: a strong social media influencer push, an OREO mobile game, and a vivid in-store experience.

 

The result? OREO Cookie reversed a negative consumption trend and swung it over to double digit growth. With results like these, it’s almost no surprise Mondelēz International and Phoenix Creative took home the Super REGGIE.

 

“Our congratulations go out to Mondelēz International and its agency for capturing this award with such an outstanding piece of work,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “The competition was particularly intense this year, so all the winners should be proud of their achievements.”

 

Yep, we’re the “its agency” part of that statement.

 

It’s not every day that great work gets rewarded in such a big way, but it is the great work we do every day that enables the wins.

 

Phoenix Creative, doing awesome work on deadline for your bottom line.

Brand Trio – Merging Brands and the Holidays

Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob Ultra are three iconic beer brands and marrying them in one point-of-sale piece was not easy. We were tasked with showcasing all three premium brands in one sign communicating a total basket offer to the shoppers of Publix Grocery Stores. The sign was placed inside Publix markets. These three brands have rigorous guidelines, but no specifics when it comes to combining them all in one sign.

This marketing asset was more than just a coupon or just a sign. It needed to consider the shopper in aisle, mid-shop. It needed to highlight the offer, each brand, as well as add to the festive holiday shopping atmosphere. And since these three brands had not been combined in this way before, we had to find a way to make all these goals work.

We offered several different custom holiday looks for the client to review. From bells to bows, and ornaments to snowflakes, each brand stars in and shares the stage with their fellow iconic brand. We created and considered several headlines to capture the holiday shopping experience. We helped the iconic beers stay true to their brands while creating a fresh, new design that promotes celebration and captures the spirit of the holidays.

The client approved a festive layout, showcasing the Bud Light, Budweiser, and Michelob Ultra bottles wrapped in a gold bow in front of a red background with gold shimmer and a captivating headline, “Unwrap Your Holiday Savings.”

The Disconnect Between Branding and Shopper Marketing

How many of you use or have heard of the old ad world terms; “above-the-line creative” and “below-the-line creative?”

Maybe you’ve heard of it; maybe you haven’t.

Here’s a quick explanation:

Above-the-line typically refers to the big projects – the type of work you dream of doing when you’re in art or marketing school. These are the assignments that make careers and grace the pages of PRINT, HOW, CA, and other prominent publications on design and marketing. Below-the-line work refers to the utility work, the day-to-day collateral such as coupons, POS, shippers, and many other in-store or social tactics that drive to retail. In most cases, below-the-line work has been required to closely follow the conceptual and visual mandates derived from the brand and image-focused above-the-line efforts.

However, the delineation described, while still adopted, is far outdated. The result is a significant rift in the effectiveness of retail, CPG, and shopper marketing.

Our industry can do better.

A number of retail brands have lulled themselves into believing that the above-the-line work, the development of a brand guideline full of brand assets, cultural studies, sharply stated consumer entry points, and the outlines for social media engagement is the only DNA that is needed to effectively extrapolate into a shopper marketing plan.

They’re wrong.

Brand considerations are, of course, important, but it’s not the full scope of thinking that should be leveraged in order to market a brand that must win at retail in order to succeed and stay alive.

Brand marketing is not shopper marketing. They are two relevant but separate tasks and they need to be treated as such. While both brand and shopper strategies are important, maybe our industry needs to flip the sequence of development. Rather than the brand guideline driving shopper strategies, maybe shopper strategies should drive brand marketing and ultimately the brand itself.

In the age of fluid content marketing, it makes little sense to continue to design CPG messaging from the static structure of a brand guideline. Brands would benefit from starting from ground zero, where the rubber meets the road. It would be best if the heart of every CPG brand formed around the ever-evolving realities of how humans interact with retail environments—whether physical, social, or e-commerce. Doing so doesn’t distract from the tenants of branding such as building a tribe, culturing loyal brand advocates, or building brand reputation, it improves upon all by focusing on how and why the shopper will engage with the product at the point of purchase.

The instances where it’s made sense for Phoenix Creative to encourage brands to break free from their brand-exclusive thinking and begin to develop shopper efforts as uniquely considered, messaged, and deployed tactics have seen great success.

I believe our industry needs to flip the sequence of branding more. Start with the channels in which the product is purchased, figure out how to be relevant to the shopper, and focus on the product. In other words, allow the below-the-line learning to drive the above-the-line brand. By allowing branding to be shaped by what happens at retail, CPGs can better speak to shoppers, also known as people, in a way that brand messaging alone simply can’t do within physical or digital retail environments.

Phoenix Creative Co.