Saturday, December 01, 2007

Kroger and Nascar team up for in-store blitz

According to MediaPost, Kroger and Nascar are gearing up (no pun intended, honestly) for a major in-store marketing push, with Nascar providing POP displays, buying screen time on the digital signage network and even branding packages for dozens of different branded goods in 2,500 Kroger stores. The purpose of the event will be to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500, Nascar's central event.

As you might imagine, branding packaged goods means that Nascar isn't just working with Kroger on the deal. They've made arrangements with General Mills, ConAgra, Kellogg, PepsiCo and a bunch of other companies to feature the Daytona 500 50th anniversary race logo on products in Kroger stores, all starting this week.

Interestingly, one major reason to work an in-store marketing deal is because Nascar fan demographics are starting to shift. About 40% (and rising) of Nascar fans are women, and this campaign is seen as a way to better reach that part of their audience as well as promote the brand to more Kroger shoppers (like most grocers Kroger skews to women too).

I have to say I'm impressed. This is a pretty savvy move, even for Nascar, which is known to have run some clever campaigns in the past. I wonder if they'll have any way of measuring the discreet elements of the promotion to see which work and which don't. Given the quantity of products that will be branded and the fact that there will "only" be 2,500 stores running the campaign, it doesn't seem like standard-issue split tests will be viable. Likewise, if they want to go for maximum exposure at all costs, they likely won't want to limit the amount of marketing in any given store. Thus, it'll be hard to figure out how much of an effect the branded merchandise has versus the branded fixtures or digital signage ads.

Or, given how massively profitable Nascar and related companies like ISC are, maybe they just don't care :)

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