Effie Case Study: “Publix’s ‘Recipe for Happiness’”

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Effie Case Study: “Publix’s ‘Recipe for Happiness’”

By Ed Finkel - 09/14/2020

Marketers: Kraft Heinz, General Mills and PepsiCo

Agency: HMT Associates

Effie Commerce & Shopper Category: Single-Retailer Program: Mass Merchants (Finalist)

Millennial mothers tend to be busy people. With 71% of them working, weekday family time becomes precious.

Based on a corollary insight that these moms are more interested in “making memories than dinner,” Publix worked with three key CPG partners – Kraft Heinz, General Mills and PepsiCo – along with brand engagement agency HMT Associates to provide meal solutions that free up time for connecting with children and spouses.

Publix also drew from research showing that Millennials only comprise 20% of its shopper base, so the grocer wanted to reach the demographic and drive sales during key time frames throughout the year. The program sought to empower moms with simple recipe solutions and seasonally relevant lifestyle content, designed in a larger sense to make Millennials feel like Publix and its CPG partners “get” them.

The campaign partners created four themed activations celebrating life’s little moments: “Game On” focused on family game night; “Take It Outside” launched at the end of school/start of summer; “Going Places” touching on family summer travel; and “Create Memories,” rolled out at holiday time.

The effort brought together several path-to-purchase marketing elements. A dedicated retailer circular and targeted mobile banners employed a new, unique app-less technology – app-like but without a download required – that helped to drive awareness and engagement. A custom microsite served as a hub for additional recipes and seasonally themed content, which strategically timed email blasts prompted shoppers to peruse.

In addition, Publix and its partners leveraged 21 Millennial lifestyle bloggers to create an influencer program that extended awareness while underscoring authenticity in capturing the needs of busy moms. And inside the store, the campaign captured moms at the point of purchase with endcaps that provided brochures with info about the program, including purchase rewards delivered in the form of a Publix gift card.

To judge success, Publix tracked incremental sales across the participating manufacturers as well as digital and social engagement results. In the end, the “Recipe for Happiness” campaign delivered 187 million impressions while boosting the level of the Millennial shopping base at Publix and successfully driving sales of partnering brands.

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