From Austin-American Statesman: Whole Foods launches national campaign

By Claudia Grisales

Austin-based Whole Foods Market will launch its first national advertising campaign Monday — partnering with a local agency along the way — that will focus on quality and value, a new angle for the brand still haunted by a “Whole Paycheck” nickname.

Today, an expanding array of competitors, large and small, are already emphasizing better buys and biting away at the organic giant’s market share.

The move is part of a five-part strategy launched this summer to transform the brand as Whole Foods looks to regain its footing after stumbling through a series of disappointing earnings reports and seeing its stock fall to a new 52-week low.

“They are both trying to emphasize the higher quality of their products and how you can get it at lower prices,” said Kate Wendt, equity research analyst for Wells Fargo Securities. “Once people understand that it is possible to shop there and there are great values to be had, then that’s the real key for them. That’s really their key barrier that they are working to address.”

New York-based Partners & Spade will head up the retailer’s “Values matter” campaign that will encompass print and digital ads, billboards and television commercials, the New York Times reported Sunday. The retailer this weekend posted 21 of the commercials on their YouTube channel, ranging from a new anthem commercial to others focusing on produce, meat, the global bee population decline and the retailer’s local producer loan program.

Austin agency GSD&M will handle Whole Foods media buy efforts, marking a locally tailored partnership for the effort.

The budget for the campaign, scheduled to continue through the winter, is estimated at $15 million to $20 million, far more than the industry estimated $4.5 million spent last year on more regionally focused efforts, the Times said.

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