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Not even a mask can muffle FreshCo’s low prices

New advertising acknowledges today’s mask-wearing reality

Discount grocery banner FreshCo can’t mask its low prices, especially during a pandemic.

The Sobeys-owned brand is playing up its low prices in a humorous new advertising campaign created by Toronto agency Juliet that is a perfect fit with its “We let our prices do the talking” brand platform introduced earlier this year.

The ads feature an actual FreshCo employee trying to inform viewers about this week’s specials, except his voice is muffled because he’s wearing a mask. Instead, the grocer literally lets its prices do the talking, with pictures and prices for items such as Compliments Frozen Burgers and Lay’s potato chips appearing over his face as he talks. (Watch one of the ads below.)

“Rather than trying to make one of those commercials we’ve all seen where people are awkwardly wearing a mask but not really acknowledging it, we decided to be really honest about it,” said Juliet’s co-founder and chief creative officer Ryan Spelliscy of the creative approach.

According to Juliet, the “We let the prices do the talking” campaign has been a major success for FreshCo since its introduction, with more than three-quarters of customers saying it had made FreshCo seem different to other stores, while helping the banner nearly double its stated growth objectives.

Masks, meanwhile, have become a hot-button issue during the pandemic. Earlier this year, however, a study conducted by the U.S. research firm Ace Metrix found consumer sentiment was split when shown ads featuring masks either subtly and deliberately. The research suggested the “vast majority” of consumers are not sensitive towards masks in ads—or the lack thereof—unless they are the central focus.

Some advertisers have found ways to work mask-wearing into their marketing. Yep, the term “mask breath,” which was used by Hershey’s Ice Breakers Mints earlier this year, can now take its place alongside “ring around the collar.”



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