Whole Foods’ Experiential Campaign Educates and Engages Consumers

Second Story, a SapientNitro-owned interactive studio, has launched an experiential campaign at Whole Foods Market’s newest location in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta. The interactive campaign consists of four installations, all designed to reinforce Whole Foods’ mission of connecting consumers with the people who provide the food they buy, while also educating consumers on sustainable food practices.

The installations are:

Farm…Meet Table:

Through an interactive wall of windowpanes, each one of which focuses on a different local farmer, consumers can look into the lives of the people who provide their food. Each window will show Q&As, maps, and video profiles, as well as pictures from the farmers’ Instagram feeds.

Perfect Pairings:

Each of this installation’s three sections has an open crate featuring an interactive touchscreen centered on helping people discover new products based on their tastes, favorite pairings of the local Avalon community, and answering questions about things like how much wine to buy for a party or how to make a cheese plate. “How do you bring the utility of online shopping to a physical store?” asks Joel Krieger, creative director at Second Story. “When you walk up to a screen and say that you like hazelnut, you can tap these tiles and it reveals, ‘If you like hazelnut, here’s a cheese, a beer, and a wine that has that flavor in it.'”

Whole Body Mirror:

When customers look into the mirror, they’ll see their reflections as one of three auras: energize, refresh, or relieve. By mimicking a pose such as flexing muscles or hugging oneself, the consumer activates a burst of the aura, which then recommends a related product.

Wise Wood:

This 12-foot wooden tower tells the story of Responsibly Grown, the market’s new produce rating system. Each of the tower’s wooden knobs illustrates a different sustainable farming practice, such as water use or waste management. In an example of what Krieger calls “analog interactive,” pulling “Energy Conservation” causes a set of wooden windmills to spin. “There’s no better litmus test for success than watching people engage with stuff,” Krieger says.


Robin Neifield, chief executive (CEO) of NetPlus Marketing, says the campaign could benefit from an element connecting shoppers to each other, such as social sharing or product reviews, but she still thinks it’s perfect for Whole Foods.

“It seems really smart and tied to issues that consumers care about – sustainability – while maintaining the fun element – aura – but with a natural tie-in to product benefits and sales – product recommendations – that make it a natural sales driver,” Neifield says.

Chris Copeland, CEO of GroupM’s media innovation unit GroupM Next, points out that all grocery retailers are competing for the same attention space. He agrees with Neifield that it’s a great strategy for the market to connect with consumers based on their values.

“If you can give an easy way to interact with products and understand which correlate with their values, they’ll have a bigger propensity to buy these products, but also to come back to the store in the future,” Copeland says.

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