Aasman staff Krysten Johnson and Alex Hill were responsible for installing Salty Talk campaign material in almost every Whitehorse grocery store. Let's find out what went into the process.
ER: I heard you went to the grocery store for a client the other day. That's unusual. What were you doing there?
AH: Putting up phase two of the Salty Talk campaign for Yukon Health and Social Services. The two of us were installing wobblers, pop-up displays and aisle invaders.
ER: Sounds like an alien movie. What's a wobbler?
KJ: It's a thin piece of plastic that's attached to a shelf. It shoots out into the aisle and wobbles with any air movement.
ER: Why do "in-store" tactics. How does it fit into a bigger strategy?
AH: The point of the in-store tactics is to capture people's attention at the point of purchase. The first phase of the campaign was to let Yukoners know that high sodium intake is a problem in the territory. This second phase builds on that awareness with the same look and feel—but the message hits them at the critical decision point in the store.
KJ: It's more in your face...
ER: …so that it's not in your mouth! What's the message on the material?
AH: There's too much salt in a lot of foods. The campaign message is a call to action (KJ & AH in unison:) "read—compare—go low!"
ER: Ha! Nice. What was the installation process like?
KJ: We're experts now, but our first store had a steep learning curve. We hadn't used the hardware before—had to track down tools we hadn't brought.
It was also interesting to interact with shoppers while we were installing the pieces. People seemed to be ashamed or made excuses for the salty things they were buying while we were there. Some people thought we worked there and others avoided the "salty areas" we were in.
One store manager looked at the back of a can and remarked "Whoa, this can has 45% of daily intake, should we ban this?"
ER: Wow. Great impact. Any philosophical thoughts on messaging in our daily lives?
KJ: In today's media culture, we are bombarded with messages—not just daily, but almost constantly. It's not something we can change, so we have to work within the parameters of this culture of bombardment.
What is good about the in-store tactics, is that the messaging is relevant to the moment. Shoppers are in decision-mode as they walk up and down those grocery aisles. With these in-store tactics, we don't have to hope they recall a radio spot they heard two days ago to help make a good decision. They have the reminder directly in front of them, so we know—at the very least—they are making more informed decisions about their salt intake for that week.
ER: How did you decide which aisles to target? Were you in the chip aisle?
AH: We were in all of them. There's more salt in more foods than we realize. Things like tomato soup and bread.
KJ: It was also important that we not target any particular food, brand or aisle. This is nutrition information that we want people to be thinking about in terms of lifestyle and healthy living. It's not saying, don't eat a bag of chips ever. It's more saying, be aware and find balance—be cautious about how much sodium you are taking daily. For example, if you are going to have a can of your favourite soup (high in sodium), don't eat a bag of chips after.
ER: Will there be a phase three?
AH: That's a good question. It's being determined. The campaigns are getting a lot of attention and people know what "Salty Talk" is.
ER: Cool. Thanks so much for sharing!
I’d be curious to hear any in-store reaction stories, either your own or witnessed!
What kind of permission did you have to obtain to put these up? My partner and I were surprised that major chain stores would agree to this sort of thing as it can risk their relationships with brands and suppliers.
I wondered what the process was like. Did you meet any resistance?
Jodie, good question. There was no resistance, we had nothing but great support from all the managers of the stores. They were consulted on the conceptual development and reviewed all the copy and artwork before we produced the collateral. We have had nothing but a really great relationship with all the stores we worked with on this campaign.
Thanks Jodie and Corey. That’s a great discussion point. Even though the campaign is entirely based on having choices—seeing the message becomes less of a choice when it’s in the store as part of your shopping experience. Those wonderful little nutrition labels are quietly tucked away, everyday, on their respective packages as they are required to be in Canada.
I’m often reminded of this when traveling in America where nutritional labelling isn’t required. (Part of me is jealous of designers extra space in packaging, too)
Thanks guys. It was really interesting hearing about the way it came about and I think it says a lot about the stores that they were willing to participate.