Prague -–In August 2011, Ahold launched a nation-wide campaign, accompanying the introduction of Smurfs 3D into the Czech cinemas.
One of the activities was a pre-premiere of the film Smurfs for journalists and their children. It was just before the start of guerilla campaign, which consisted of installation of huge smurf statues at Hlávkův Bridge in Prague and distribution of about 2,000 smurfs in the parks and gardens in the selected cities of the Czech Republic. The spectators were free to take these smurfs home. All of this happened in the night between August 9 and 10, 2011.
At the same time when the huge smurfs were installed, the journalists received e-mail saying “Meet me tomorrow at Hlávkův Bridge. Your smurf.” The next day, every journalist received his own plush smurf.
Huge smurfs to help children
The central figures of the smurf campaign were twenty metre-tall statues of smurfs that were painted, in the cow-parade style, by Czech and Slovak celebrities, such as Dagmar Havlová, the wife to the former president Václav Havel, or Bořek Šípek, the internationally renowned designer, as well as many singers. These huge smurfs went on tour across the Czech Republic (smurf parade) and in the week from October 10 to 14, 2011 they were auctioned at www.nadacnifondalbert.cz and in total they had generated Euro 27,800. The proceeds of the sale were donated to the Mum and Dad Foundation. The money is being used to support children from orphanages, namely their swimming and dancing lessons.
Marketing and PR impact
The campaign is considered successful. During its existence it attracted a number of new customers to Albert stores thanks to a collecting mania concerning the 3D smurf cards which customers received for every CZK 200 spent in Albert stores. For these cards, 300,000 albums for CZK 39 were available. These albums sold out in a single day, the customers traded them among themselves; bought them on websites and Facebook. That is why Albert stores started offering, as an alternative, boxes for collecting of the cards. A competition for children had been launched in which the children compete for the best hand-made collecting album. The best albums were rewarded by a smurf.
If the children failed to collect all the cards, they were able to trade them on trading days in Albert stores.As a part of the campaign, an exclusive interview with William Auriol, CEO of IMPS, the holder of the smurf rights, was published by a major Czech daily Hospodářské noviny. He said to us: “Congratulations for the high level you’ve reached concerning the smurf loyalty program. As your VP Marketing said, it’s now the new benchmark for the sector, not only in the Czech Republic, but also abroad. We are, here in Genval, very proud to be a part of this huge success. Thank you very much and let me smurf you all the best.”
The campaign was successful also in that it was being talked about by the people. Since the start of the campaign, we had seen many articles in the both trade and lifestyle media, but also in blogs, in which people confessed to their collector’s mania and they keeped watch on the number of cards in Albert stores.
A special event in OC Chodov
Another specialty of the campaign was a day for children in the Chodov shopping mall where on Saturday, September 10, 2011, Veronique Culliford, the daughter of the smurf creator Peyo (Pierre Culliford), met the children. The event revealed to the children what the world looked like from smurf perspective, they had an opportunity to have their faces painted and to enjoy a smurf day. Veronique was full of dreams: “It was a great pleasure to meet you and your team, last week. I really appreciate your organization, professionalism, enthusiasm and kindness! You have made a fantastic program and I’m comforted that our Smurfs are in good hands.”
The purpose of the campaign met
As we have hinted above, the campaign met with huge success. There were web pages focusing on Albert smurfs, people traded cards through various communication channels, people compared their smurf albums… But the main thing, customers came to Albert for shopping and associated their shopping with positive emotions.