SOBEYS

Sobeys ran Instagram and Facebook video ads to reach more Canadian grocery shoppers and boost brand awareness, realizing an 8% lift in in-store sales on promoted items.

THE STORY
Canadian grocery chain

Sobeys Inc. is proudly Canadian, with more than 111 years of experience in the food retail business. As one of only two national grocery retailers in Canada, it has approximately 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under a variety of retail banners.

3.3X

incremental in-store return on ad spend

4.5X

incremental in-store return on ad spend (in final 4 weeks of test)

8%

lift in in-store sales on promoted categories

To understand how Instagram ads could help drive people to our stores to buy products, we worked with our media agency, UM. Together, we strategized on this campaign for what was, in essence, a paperless flyer to run in feed. The snackable video ads we built not only met, but exceeded, our expectations.
ERIKA DEHAAS, DIRECTOR, MEDIA & SPONSORSHIPS, SOBEYS
THE GOAL
Increasing grocery sales

Sobeys wanted a way to reach more food shoppers, boost brand awareness and increase sales.

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THE SOLUTION
From flyers to video ads

For many grocery retailers, the traditional weekly flyer continues to play a key role in their marketing efforts. Sobeys wanted to understand whether supplementing the traditional weekly flyer with Facebook and Instagram ads could bring more people into stores to purchase grocery items.

Sobeys turned to its media agency, UM, to plan and execute the campaign. Together, they created short video ads with simple, easy-to-understand narratives that told people about the best weekly deals. They planned to release 2–3 videos per week over a six-week period.

Knowing that appropriate product selection is key to attracting people's attention and enticing them to visit a store, the ads were designed to group products by theme, while clearly presenting pricing and promotional messaging that people could easily absorb in the mobile feed.

One video ad showcased a weekly theme about breakfast grocery items on offer, such as coffee, fresh raspberries, Greek yogurt, pancake mix and syrup with the messaging: “Start every day like Sunday morning with these easy breakfast options.”

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Another video ad had a more romantic theme, with messaging that included: “For the ones you love: A Valentine’s menu that's guaranteed to impress.” The ad showcased related grocery items, including boxes of chocolates, fresh salmon filets, green asparagus and flower bouquets.

Each ad had a “Learn More” call-to-action button that linked to the Sobeys digital flyer. Sobeys showed the ads to a broad audience of Canadian adults aged 25–54 in Instagram feed and Facebook News Feed. According to Sobeys, the results of the February 7–March 21, 2019 campaign included:

  • 3.3X incremental in-store return on ad spend

  • 4.5X incremental in-store return on ad spend (in final 4 weeks of test)

  • 8% lift in in-store sales on promoted categories