A Textbook “Marketing As Service” Example

SPAR, founded in the Netherlands in 1932, is the world’s largest international food retail chain with nearly 16,000 stores in 34 countries.
According to JWT’s AnxietyIndex*, SPAR supermarkets in Prague have launched a special online tool to help consumers deal with the economic crisis.

Consumers can print a new discount shopping voucher every day. They can also ask online consultants from the University of Economics in Prague where to invest money, whether or not to get a mortgage and other pressing financial questions.
Another attraction for money-saving consumers is a section called “SmartCounters,” where they can calculate how much electricity they save by using energy-efficient bulbs instead of traditional ones, how much water they save by taking a bath instead of a shower, etc. Interactive tools like these offer consumers not only valuable money-saving opportunities but also peace of mind.

What are the brands in your camp doing to address the global economic downturn? Are they ignoring it completely, scaring people to buy or working to put people at ease?
*JWT’s AnxietyIndex was launched in February 2003 during the run-up to the war in Iraq. It tracks the levels and intensity of consumer anxiety and, importantly, the drivers of anxiety. The index examines safety and security concerns–the threat of terrorism, potential and current military hostilities, crime, etc.–and economic worries, such as the cost of health care, the cost of living and job security. The AnxietyIndex also uncovers consumer insights that help inform business and marketing strategies during times of high or low anxiety. JWT is reporting that 79% of Americans in February felt nervous/anxious.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.