[ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Party platters and custom decorator cakes are highlighted on the cover of a direct-mail circular from the ShopRite group of supermarkets aimed at graduation parties and related special occasions.
The cover of the four-page mailer is fringed with a colorful variety of flowers. At the top, a regal purple headline box, emphasized with a scrolled underline, announces "A Cordial Invitation..." It is followed by "From Your Party Planning Experts at ShopRite." "Luscious Party Platters" are depicted in a color photograph of two trays of rolled deli meats. One platter holds just varieties of meat; the other includes meat and cheese. However, in both, each of the rolled stacks is separated by greens; they all surround a center well of sliced pickles, olives and radishes. A tilted basket holds sliced bread and rolls. The accompanying text describes the platters with the words "enticing" and "delectable...the best way to turn any gathering into a gala party."
Directly below the deli entry, readers encounter a photo of nearly a dozen cakes and pies, arranged to show off their details and variety. In the foreground, a sheet cake is covered with white icing and pink-accented piping, crowned with a miniature plastic graduation cap with gold tassel and a rolled paper diploma. Pink roses accent the top, on which has been written "Congratulations."
Another sheet cake is shown with a similar scheme, but has a blue rose and piping and sports a black graduation cap. The differences help reinforce the tailor-made message of the "Custom Decorator Cakes" headline next to the photo.
"There are all kinds of reasons to celebrate in the coming months..." the first sentence of the text reads, an assertion backed up by the rest of the creations depicted in the photo. Other cake varieties include a sheet cake announcing "Happy Anniversary," in reference to June's choice as a favorite month for weddings; a colorful round children's birthday cake topped with edible confetti and cones of "ice cream;" a deep-dish lattuce-topped fruit pie, and glazed fruit-topped cakes, among others.
Both the deli and bakery text also stress the service and convenience of using these ShopRite departments. For example, the text reminds shoppers in the party platter description that "the host or hostess gets to enjoy the good times just as much as the guests, because ShopRite does all the work."
Under the custom cake headline over the offerings from the Fresh Bake Shoppe is written, "Just tell us how many guests you are expecting, what type of cake you'd like and we'll take it from there."
The center spread of the circular includes a month's worth of coupons for four items per week. While not directly related to the "graduation time" theme, the items attract attention because all but one are free with the purchase of $15 of more. All 12 sale items are shown as clipable coupons under the banner, "Savings in a Class of Its Own!" To make the redemption validity windows easier to determine, the coupons for each week are stacked vertically on the page, in color-coded rows.
Some items might be useful for parties, such as a free 20-ounce bottle of Citrus Fruit Punch Guzzler, or an 8-ounce can of Dole Tropical Fruit Salad; others might be more useful after the event, such as the two-count Quickie Super Scrubber. All three items are offered free with the minimum purchase.