ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans Food Markets here last week took out a full-page ad in the New Jersey edition of the New York Times to explain its store-brand irradiated ground beef to consumers, a move a marketing consultant described as highly unusual and potentially highly effective.
Headlined "A Rare Opportunity," the ad showed a large hamburger nearly overflowing its bun. The text contained answers to 10 questions about irradiation, including "What does irradiation do?" and "Is irradiated ground beef safe?" At the bottom of the page, the ad gave the addresses of the three Wegmans stores in New Jersey. It did not mention price.
A spokeswoman for Wegmans declined to say if the ad would be running in other markets, commenting only that the company tailors its marketing to fit its customer base.
However, Willard Bishop, president, Willard Bishop Consulting, Barrington, Ill., told SN, "I wish there were more of this kind of advertising going on. You don't often see one-item, full-page ads from retailers."
Willard noted that the purpose of the ad was as much to project an image of Wegmans as a company that cares about the health of its customers as to sell hamburger meat. "This is emblematic of the kind of retail advertising that makes them so successful," he said. "This is a marvelous brand-building effort."