Retail Media: Bob Evans Picks Winning Sides

Jacqueline Barba
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Bob Evans Farms undertook its first-ever integrated shopper marketing campaign to spotlight dinner sides for the holidays. The effort spanned multiple retailers and touchpoints including in-store signage as well as ad placements via the all-important retail media networks.

Kicking off in October (start dates varied depending on the retailer) and ending in December, Bob Evans Farms' national “Pick Your Side” campaign primarily targeted “busy, career-focused couples with kids” who may feel rushed or lack confidence in the kitchen and turn to prepared foods for easy dinner solutions, Tony Fung, senior shopper marketing manager at Bob Evans Farms, told the Path to Purchase Institute.

Fung joined the team more than a year ago to build and lead the brand’s shopper marketing and e-commerce strategy across multiple retailers, and while shopper marketing is still relatively new to Bob Evans, this campaign aimed to cover all bases with account-specific overlays.

Notably, the CPG brand partnered with Quotient Performance Media to activate targeted retail media across Albertsons Cos. (10 million estimated impressions), Ahold Delhaize (10.7 million estimated impressions) and Giant Eagle (3 million estimated impressions), according to Fung. Running through the end of December, the digital activity spanned mobile banner ads, brand engagement pages and search optimization. The brand also ran a national digital coupon through Quotient in October. In addition, Bob Evans leveraged two other, not-officially-announced retailer media networks to promote digital savings.

Running the campaign amid an aggressive second surge of the pandemic brought its own set of challenges. “From a brand standpoint, we shifted the communication strategy to be more food-centric and focused more on digital and e-commerce while still maintaining a balance on traditional shopper media vehicles,” Fung indicated.

Albertsons Cos. and Ahold Delhaize chains, Giant Eagle and H-E-B received dedicated custom violators, shelf talkers and shopping cart signs inviting shoppers to “Pick a Winning Side” and driving to Account-specific violators at Ahold Delhaize chains, for instance, included tearpads dangling a $1 off coupon from the manufacturer. The promotional web page invited shoppers to vote for their favorite dinner side, choosing between the brand's “rich, creamy, indulgent classic” original mashed potatoes and the “decadent union of pasta and cheese” macaroni and cheese side.


The web page as well as FSIs and other promotional activity also touted a bulk-purchase incentive awarding a $5 e-gift card to shoppers who purchased $15 worth of participating Bob Evans dinner sides between Nov. 16 and Dec. 31. Powered by TPG Rewards, shoppers uploaded a photo of their qualifying receipt to

Other support spanned retailer circular features, email ads, display ads on retailer websites and search optimization across multiple partners. Plus, Bob Evans teamed with Catalina to offer print coupons as well as promote the campaign and savings via full-motion digital signage from Starlite Media near store entrances in select locations.

“Overall, this campaign highlighted the importance of reaching shoppers using an omnichannel approach,” Fung said, “especially in the refrigerated sides category, [in] which we typically don’t see a lot of shopper marketing activations.”

Note: Members of the Institute can view the full photo audit for this campaign on

Want more on retail media?

Mark your calendars. On Jan. 27, the Institute is hosting a new, interactive Learning Lab that will guide attendees through the retail media business model and its unique value for brand marketers. Register and get more details on the Retail Media Accelerator course now. Plus, the Institute is also launching the Retail Media Forum, a new event focused on educating the industry about the complex, rapidly evolving landscape of retail media. The forum is scheduled to be held virtually on March 30-31.