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New Sobeys campaign shows the fun, relatable side of family life

‘So.be.it’ positioning will be the ‘connective tissue’ across all the grocer’s channels
9/26/2023
sobeys so.be.it billboard
Photography courtesy Sobeys

Sobeys is aiming to be so relatable with its new brand platform, “So.be.it.”

A play on the Sobeys name, the platform builds on the grocer’s positioning as Canada’s family grocery store. “We continue to be Canada’s grocery store, but [the new platform] is the connective tissue that connects all our communication into a unified approach,” says Erika DeHaas, VP of corporate marketing at Sobeys. “This is intended to be a long-term brand platform that will continuously roll out over seasons and key programs.” 

So.be.it kicked off with a national marketing campaign that features two TV spots. In one, “Salty Baker,” a toddler who can’t read swaps sugar for salt as he bakes treats for a bake sale with his dad. The spot “Actually” shows a family of four at the dinner table with plates of beige food. The son explains what he learned in school about balanced meals with greens. 

“We wanted to create a positioning that is relatable… We recognize that sometimes family life can be a little messy or unpredictable, but we look at it through a lens of ‘glass half full,’” says DeHaas. “It’s about [having] an optimistic take on life’s little adventures and ultimately, Sobeys is here to help families along the way and to make the most out of family life.” 

sobeys so.be.it
Photography courtesy of Sobeys

In addition to the TV spots, the omni-channel includes online video, social media, out-of-home and in-store marketing. 

While the storytelling communication focuses on family moments, Sobeys will play up the word ‘so’ from a product promotion and in-store standpoint. “It allows us to create ownability around key priorities like fresh, for example… So, the position we’re taking is ‘so fresh,’ says DeHaas. 

“Another way we’re bringing it to life is through local, [which is] very similar across the board. How do you make the essence of local ownable to Sobeys? We’re taking the approach of ‘so local’ and making that connection back to the brands. It’s just a natural connection and a great way to make it come to life.” 

Sobeys is also updating all creative assets to reflect the new look and feel, including its website, email communications and Voilà and Scene+ loyalty programs. 

“We’ll also see it coming to life through seasonality [such as] our holiday campaign… and we’ll be extending it into our sponsorship portfolio,” says DeHaas. “We’ll have a bit of a new positioning as we re-launch our NHL partnership with the new [hockey] season coming in October. So, you’ll see the notion of So.Be.It come to life as the official grocer of the NHL.”

There is an internal connection with the new positioning as well. “What we’re excited about is it’s so relatable to Canadians, but it’s also such a relatable positioning to us as an internal team,” says DeHaas. “Externally, we’re Canada’s family grocery store, but even internally we are focused on being a family nurturing families.”

Watch the TV spots below:

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