Digital strategy central to new Spar ad campaign

Spar UK is to advertise on television for the first time in four years this autumn as part of a new multi-platform marketing campaign worth £5 million, and the convenience retailer is ramping up its digital strategy at the same time.

Leading media agencies MediaCom Leeds and the Leith Agency have been appointed to handle the campaign, which will see the Spar brand appear on ITV show 'Lorraine' between October and December 2013.

Head of Marketing at Spar UK Philippe Rondepierre told Essential Retail that the company is aiming to heighten awareness of its 'There for You' strap-line through both the TV coverage and by making its website more engaging. It appears that the food retailer is looking to embrace various digital mediums to ensure its message reaches as wide an audience as possible.

"The site will be made mobile friendly and we intend to experiment with geo-targeting of hand held devices," he explained.

"We will connect with our existing and potential customers via Facebook and Twitter, which the organisation had so far been fearful to get involved in. It is our intention to seek opportunities to interface with our shoppers in a friendly and informal manner, just as our thousands of local retailers do on a daily basis."

He added that using social media in this way will help Spar develop a stronger relationship with its younger shoppers, and suggested there is some "quirky and amusing viral activity" planned for the coming months.

"Throughout our digital interaction with shoppers, one of our key aims will be to harvest email addresses which will enable us to keep them informed with all the good things available at Spar," Rondepierre noted.

"There are no specific plans to extend our current digital presence in-store."

Spar has already benefited from widespread TV coverage across Europe this summer, thanks to its sponsorship of European Athletics events. UK viewers are set to be exposed to yet more Spar branding as the year draws on, with the retailer seemingly keen to reach customers both young and old.