No box. No six-day shoot in the Virgin Islands. No elaborate and
terribly clever formats or folds. Just a simple idea that
When asked to air some of my recent dirty laundry, I dug into the
washing basket and plumped for an elegant little number that we produced
recently for Safeway.
As part of the Safeway ABC relationship marketing programme, the
communication was split into two parts: a questionnaire and a
The questionnaire gleaned wonderful attitudinal data which sent our
planning department into orgasmic raptures. The follow-up acted upon
this data and addressed the individual needs of our customers - if Mrs
Spoon from Huddersfield thought our cabbage wasn’t up to much then we
promised her that we’d address the problem.
The subject covered by the follow-up was produce (fruit ’n’ veg to you
and me) and was the first in a year-long programme covering all
departments and services offered by Safeway.
So what about the results? Well, the questionnaire was sent to more than
800,000 customers and generated an amazing 450,000 responses. I’m
reliably informed by the pointy heads that’s more than 58 per cent. On
top of that, pounds 11 million was spent on produce and was directly
attributable to the programme - which is a lot of satsumas and
This is not a showcase piece. It is typical of the sort of work our
industry has to produce by the bucket-load. What it does demonstrate is
that there is no substitute for a simple thought, whether it’s a
48-sheet poster, a sumptuous commercial or a questionnaire. Overlay that
with the fact that we might actually be changing behaviour and it truly
makes me happy - as I hope it does Mrs Spoon from Huddersfield, now that
she’s getting her hands on crisper, fresher cabbages.