Point-of-Purchase Fail

One of my PR colleagues told me this: “With advertising, you pay. With PR, you pray.” Well unfortunately, the ad folks may need to do some praying. Or better yet, some of the marketing channels better do some paying back. A recent visit to my local ShopRite fueled my argument for integrated marketing.

As I was strolling down the ice-cream aisle, I noticed a Chips Ahoy promotion. Something like: Buy 2 Chips Ahoy and get a free carton of Friendly’s Ice Cream. Pretty cool. As I inspected a few of the new Chips Ahoy varieties such as peanut butter (hmm…) and banana (eek…) I noticed something oddly disturbing. To clarify, I found it disturbing as an advertising professional. These Chips Ahoy cookies were in a lovely, free-standing, end-of-aisle display which was branded with, and obviously paid for by, Pepperidge Farm.

Point of Purchase Fail

I’m quite sure there were marketing meetings at Pepperidge Farm in which in-store strategies were discussed. “Should we do in-store displays?” “What will it cost?” “Let’s get our people working on this.” “The retailers are excited to work with us!” And maybe, just maybe, other marketing efforts had their budgets slashed in order to fund this Point-of-Purchase effort.

This is why we do integrated marketing. We look for a good mix of earned, owned and paid in multiple channels. For example, we don’t just run a print ad once. Even if it’s in the most widely circulated publication, it could end up running the same week when the world’s attention is elsewhere. Multiple runs. Multiple touch points. Multiple impressions. Throw numerous darts at the target.

Obviously Pepperidge Farm won’t crumble from this one incident. They know the value of 360 marketing. Their tagline is “Good is in the details.” However, it’s obvious that the folks at ShopRite are not quite as detail oriented.

If you have a brand with a modest budget, you still need to integrate. You may use fewer channels. But putting all your eggs in one basket can get messy with just one little slip.

– Rob Schnapp

PS: Alternate title for this post was ShopRong