By: Ryan Baldwin
On Friday, February 14th, we were fortunate enough to tour Meijer’s national headquarters. The club members had very high expectations, alongside a great deal of curiosity. Thanks to Tim Scarpino, all our questions were answered, and expectations met.
The tour started when Mr. Scarpino greeted us in the lobby and then took us to a conference room. In there, he broke the ice by sharing that he is a Grand Valley State graduate. It was fascinating to hear that Meijer is branching out into Wisconsin and how they are executing advertising there. Wisconsin has never had a Meijer in their state before, so they must inform the public about who they are and what they do.
Another intriguing part of our talk was learning about the different types of promotional campaigns Meijer runs throughout the year. Of course, they have campaigned for products and prices, but Meijer strives to advertise in more original ways as well. Like in their back to school campaign, they made an ad that targeted special needs kids and teachers (check it out in the video below). The video was emotionally-driven, which helped its memorability. Beyond their more general promotions, Meijer tries to personalize their ads to address more specific audiences, even if they have never been targeted before by their competitors.
We also got a look at Meijer’s production portion of the advertising process. Mr. Scarpino led us to an entirely different building. In this building, he showed us their photo area and where their commercials are edited and put together. It was very insightful, considering we rarely see the production side of advertising. Mr. Scarpino also brought specialists in the film and photo department to come and talk to us more in depth about what they do.
After a tour like this, it’s hard not to have something to learn. The Meijer tour helped shed light on in-house advertising, which we don’t often see in our club. We learned that when trying to reach a national audience, there are many pieces involved. It is integral that the advertising, marketing, video, and photography all be on the same page to best represent the company. We want to give a huge thank you to Tim Scarpino for being a great tour guide and giving up his Friday afternoon to give us a little insight on in-house advertising.