Save-On-Foods goes the ‘Extra’ mile to woo customers

Who: Save-On-Foods, with Zulu Alpha Kilo for strategy and creative; Boldly for production (directed by Robjn Taylor); Zulobot for post-production; Wave Productions for audio; Noise Digital and OMD for media.

What: “Giving You Extra,” a new brand platform and accompanying campaign for the Western Canada supermarket chain emphasizing its longstanding reputation for always giving customers more than they expect.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running across TV and online video (one :30, accompanied by :15s and seven-second cutdowns) as well as radio.

Why: The campaign evolved out of the Save-On-Foods’ claim that it always giving its customers extra, a tradition that started with its first store in the early 1900s, which became famous for giving customers 18 ounces of tea for the price of 16. That led to the store being becoming known as the “overweight tea company,” which eventually evolved into the Overwaitea banner.

The Overwaitea stores were converted into Save-On-Foods in 2018, but Zulu Alpha Kilo realized that the banner’s origin story of always giving customers extra was an “authentic story” that rival brands couldn’t replicate.

Giving customers extra has been part of the brand’s DNA for more than a century, said marketing director Tami Mitchell. “Since then, the extras we give our customers have evolved along with our brand, but we continue to live that legacy of giving customers more than they expect to this day,” she said.

How: All of the video spots use light humour to convey the retailer’s commitment to giving customers extra—whether that means extra advice, extra freshness, or extra savings—and showing some of the surprising ways it can potentially impact their daily life.

In one spot, a man talks to a Save-On-Foods butcher (in keeping with Save-On-Foods tradition, all of the ads feature actual employees) and asks for advice on a prime cut of beef that he can use to impress his girlfriend’s father who’s coming for a meal. The spot goes on to show the two men hitting it off over dinner, before cutting to a wedding ceremony in which the butcher is a guest.

In another spot, the grocery chain’s extra fresh strawberries lead to an “extra-cute bundle of joy” for a customer, while another spot shows how the savings earned from multiple trips to Save-On-Foods were enough to purchase a pet for the family. The theme is continued with a pair of radio ads, “Strawberries” and “Investing,” telling how freshness and savings manifest themselves in unexpected ways.

Mitchell said that Vancouver-based Save-On-Foods first partnered with Zulu Alpha Kilo last year (which is when the agency opened its Vancouver office) to ensure that its creative would “stand out and break through.”

“It’s easy to say we provide value, but demonstrating that in ways that are fun and memorable is important,” said Mitchell. “People are served up countless messages daily, and we wanted to be relevant and evoke an emotional response to the value we bring to Western Canadian shoppers.”

And we quote: “Consumers gravitate to brands that share their values and are loyal to brands they can trust. Integrity is one of our core values because authenticity and genuineness are the foundation of trust. People see through brands that claim to be something they aren’t.” — Tami Mitchell, marketing director, Save-On-Foods

Chris Powell