The incredible shrinking campaign: New World’s Little Shop returns for round two

Parents, prepare to be pestered once again. Because New World is back with its second tiny promotion. 

Following on from its successful Little Shop promotion last year—and Countdown’s successful Dreamworks Heroes collector card response— the campaign has returned and this time the number of products available to collect has increased from 44 to 50. 

Last year the country went a bit mad for the promotion, with swaps held at stores, schools and offices across the country, many New World stores setting up permanent swap desks to assist customers wanting to trade items, and more than a few trading hubs set up online. But just as governments around the world are legalising marijuana to move the market out of the hands of the criminal underworld, this year New World has created a Little Shop Facebook swap app, which was made by Union Digital and lets fans track and grow their collection, and provide a hub to swap different items.

The first collectables concept was launched after Foodstuffs met with a Dutch toy design studio that had ran a similar campaign for a Dutch supermarket chain. And Steve Bayliss, group general manager marketing at Foodstuffs​, said the promotion was more successful than the original campaign in Holland. 

“There is no denying it, the nation totally embraced Little Shop last year,” says Bayliss. “It was a promotion that was popular with Kiwis young and old. When the promotion finished, thousands of people wanted to know when it was coming back. We’ve made this year’s campaign even more magical, vibrant and fun. One of our focuses for Little Shop 2014 is to show how the minis actually became mini with the introduction of the Shrinkinator, a special magical machine that turns everyday products into minis. We can’t wait to see the enthusiastic buzz of Little Shop mania once more.” 

As well as the 50 products, there are also a few more accessories available to purchase, with the likes of aprons, delivery trucks, check-outs, cash registers and Sistema boxes turning kids into nice little consumers. Like Fonterra, which created the Little Fridge app for last year’s effort, Sealord is also getting meta and giving collectors the chance to win one of its fully functioning Little Boats.   

Unlike last year, Colenso BBDO worked with .99 on the campaign. It developed the idea of the Shrinkinator and was in charge of the TV work, just as it was for New World’s brand campaign. Ben Goodale, managing director of .99, says it focused more on instore activation and traditional retail, but it was behind the takeover that shrunk the Herald and Stuff homepages (.99 was responsible for the design as well as guiding the publishers on how the takeover should appear). 

He says his daughter has already been in to New World to start her collection. And the launch received a fair bit of PR coverage yesterday, including some airtime from fanboy Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp. And while Kath Dewar wrote a piece recently saying brands needed to think about the ethics of such pester power-themed marketing ploys, he says—with a bit of a wink—”it’s just choosing the right place to buy your groceries”. 

Scott Coldham, the recently appointed general manager at Colenso BBDO, says it’s nice to see a great promotional idea for one of our mutual clients evolve and build into “a true brand tool that gets people excited about shopping at New World”.

One of the interesting things about retail is that marketing can sometimes be a profit centre, rather than a cost centre (in June in Australia, ​​Woolworths suppliers were asked to chuck in a bit extra to pay for a Jamie Oliver campaign, on top of a standard marketing payment of 2.5 percent). Each of the brands involved pays for the privilege to have category exclusivity, although how much they pay is commercially sensitive, says Goodale. ​And while the miniature fervour from last year obviously worked in Foodstuffs’ favour, Bayliss says it also worked for the brands involved in the promotion, with Energizer, Purina and Fonterra Brands singing its praises last year. 

“We were the only general merchandise supplier as all the other products were groceries and we were really impressed that you could even scan the barcode,” says Energizer’s national key account manager Stephanie Hyndman. “We thought it would be popular but it definitely exceeded expectations and sales of our products proved this with an increase across the entire range.”

Purina had its Tux dog food and Fancy Feast cat food on offer and head of marketing Jennifer Chappel says the value in having its miniature products in so many Kiwi households could not be underestimated.

“The promotion resonated strongly with our pet consumers, many of whom have young families, and the positive feedback via our website and pet care line was overwhelming. It was great for brand awareness and we received a lovely email from one consumer, for example, saying her young daughter made her switch brands to Tux on a shopping trip as it was part of Little Shop and it was the only brand they were to buy from now on,” she says.

Bayliss said overseas companies monitored the success of the campaign with the intention of replicating it in their markets, which was flattering, but Goodale is unaware of any of them following through. 

No word on whether next year’s campaign will feature an adult range


Client –  Foodstuffs

Steve Bayliss – Group General Manager Marketing

Stephanie Pyne – National Retail Promotions Manager

Jessica Richards – Retail Marketing Project Manager 

Jules Lloyd  – Group Brand Director

Creative Agency – .99

Ben Goodale – Managing Director

Craig Whitehead – Chief Creative Officer

Pippa O’Regan – Group Account Director

Jessica Rose – Senior Account Manager

Greg Wylie –  Creative

Ed Bell – Creative

Ryan Macpherson – Creative

Thom Brown – Creative

Simone Lash – Design

Luke McArthur – Digital

Rachel Haines Villalta – Digital

Creative Agency – Colenso BBDO

Steve Cochran, Executive Creative Director

Jen Storey – Producer

Katherine Sliper – Account Director

Iain MacMillan – Creative

Antony Wilson – Creative

Media Agency – FCB

Terri Collier – Media Director

Karen Tipper – Media Manager

Pauline So – Implementation Manager

Grace Macalincag – Media Planner/Buyer

Kate Grigg – Digital Director

Lucy Leckie – Senior Digital Planner/Buyer

Denise Yong – Digital Campaign Manager

Development of Facebook swap app – Union Digital

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