Dairies are a ubiquitous part of New Zealand, peppering the landscape from the Far North to Invercargill. And given the seemingly universal rule that every stretch of the country with a population over 20 people necessitates a dairy, these stores provide a powerful means by which to connect with a broad range of Kiwis across the nation.
Yet, despite this potential, dairy-based advertising is quite often limited to little more than a dusty Coca-Cola poster or an outdoor sign (which has almost invariably blown over).
So, in an effort to modernise the way dairies are used to deliver promotional messages, Hypermedia Group has announced a new initiative called The Dairy Network, which will see digital advertising screens installed at the point of sale in more than 200 dairies across the country.
“Dairies are an intrinsic part of the New Zealand grocery scene and complement supermarket shopper behaviour really well,” says Hypermedia chief executive Belinda Freeman. “According to Nielsen, more than a third of New Zealand grocery shoppers claim they use the dairy between trips to the supermarket and use the dairy to buy snacks, not staples.”
The popularity of convenience stores has seen this type of advertising grow abroad, but Freeman says that it has been difficult to emulate this in New Zealand.
“Convenience channel in-store advertising is a growing shopper opportunity in other markets such as UK and so far, due to the highly unorganised structure of the New Zealand dairy trade, this hasn’t been easy to provide suppliers with an effective promotions and advertising solution.”
The reason for this lack of organisation is largely because the vast majority of dairies are independently owned, meaning that it is difficult to release a campaign on a large scale.
To overcome this problem, Hypermedia entered into an agreement with a network of 200 participants, which Freeman says were selected on the basis of their foot traffic and sales.
Freeman would not say how much dairies were being paid to host the POS digital displays on account of the terms of their agreement being confidential, but she did say the participants were optimistic about the project.
“The dairies are in full agreement with the opportunity to advertise their products to their customers and are excited by the potential sales uplift that proximity advertising can provide their stores,” says Freeman.
Until recently, Hypermedia has worked exclusively within Countdown supermarkets, providing in-store marketing material throughout the stores. This work for Countdown has included aisle fins, in-store radio, checkout decals, trolley media and various other executions.
Freeman says that Hypermedia will continue working with the grocery chain, and that this is simply an attempt to branch out the company’s offering.
“While Countdown is still our primary retail partner, Hypermedia’s vision is to be able to offer our clients a one stop shop for all their in-store advertising needs,” she says. “FMCG brands have different strategies for different trade channels i.e. shoppers approach supermarket shopping differently to convenience shopping. We want to be able to help brands plan and execute compelling proximity to shopper advertising strategies.”
The Dairy Network’s digital screens can be used to play animated graphic advertisements or shot eight-second TVC-style clips, and Freeman says that there’s also scope to include more personalised elements at a later stage.
“We want our clients to be able to have as much control of their creative product as possible. Clients can either have their agencies create animations or TVCs to suit the digital screens, or work with our in house interactive team to produce the material.”
Thus far, Hypermedia Group has signed an agreement with Spark, and the telco's campaigns have been aired across the network since the initiative launched on 1 September.
“We were really excited to kick off our first convenience store campaign with The Dairy Network,” said Spark’s FMCG manager Hamish Egen in a release. “The opportunity to advertise right at the point of purchase to impulse shoppers was a very compelling proposition for us and we look forward to seeing sales data at campaign completion.”
Freeman says that at this stage Hypermedia has no additional clients.
“We have literally just opened the doors on The Dairy Network this week,” she says. “We were already in talks with Spark to activate in Countdown and asked them if they would be interested in trialling a new opportunity with us. Our sales teams will start talking to clients about this opportunity this week.”
A major advantage of the digital POS offering is that it can be updated or changed throughout the day, and this has made it possible for Hypermedia to sell time slots rather than stagnant media space.
According to the company’s rate card, the morning (opening to 11am) and afternoon (3pm to closing) peak time slots can be purchased for $6,000 during weekdays, while the mid-day slot can be bought for $4,000. Each of the weekend slots can be purchased for $2,800.