IGA uses emojis to give away free groceries

Who: IGA and Sid Lee.

What: “Emojiga” (a mash-up of emoji and IGA) is a new new emoji based campaign for IGA’s online grocery offering—texting combinations of emojis to a promotion number will get the texter food and grocery giveaways.

When & Where: Across Quebec until Feb. 19, with out-of-home, digital and social ads, including online video, being used to drive awareness. (It’s also running online in New Brunswick.)

Why: IGA says it has offered online grocery shopping for almost 25 years. But with new options for delivery flooding the market, it wanted an awareness campaign to both remind consumers of IGA for online grocery shopping and give them a reason to place an order. “Incentives are key to generate a trial, but we wanted this campaign to be about more than promotional offers,” said Julie Desrochers, creative director at Sid Lee. “We needed a way to connect with people emotionally so they understand the benefits of IGA online grocery.”

How: Hundreds of different ad executions using emojis. Some are simply combinations that are a visual representation of a colloquial expression, while others invite consumers to text the combination for a free product giveaway.

The idea here is that there are now sooooo many emojis that users will both have to give some thought to the puzzle to understand what the combination says, and spend time finding the emoji on their phone to complete the text (we’re assuming the giveaways won’t include eggplants and peaches).

“People have to think to understand the ad,” said Desrochers. “And because there are so many, it’s fun and engaging… Some ads are designed specifically for people with more time on their hands while in transit: they can easily spend two minutes trying to guess what cereal brands they can find on IGA online.”

How does it drive trial? The free grocery item is claimed by placing an order from IGA over $45. After texting the emoji code, the person gets a return text with a promo code that can be used to add the free item to their online order.

Quote: “We were attracted to the idea of turning the search for a good old promo code into a fun treasure hunt for our clients.” — Carl Pichette, vice-president of marketing and e-commerce at IGA parent Sobeys.



David Brown