Retailers

H-E-B’s New Favor TV Campaign Offers Dose of Reality

Timely commercials tout one-hour delivery of wine, flowers and restaurant food
H-E-B and Favor TV Campaign
Photograph courtesy of H-E-B

As restaurant food delivery services, such as Uber Eats and DoorDash, continue to expand into grocery, H-E-B recently launched a spirited TV campaign to remind Texans that its Favor delivery service will deliver wine and beer, arrangements from its Blooms flower shops, and restaurant food in under an hour.

Created by the Dallas-based agency Plot Twist Creativity, the trio of entertaining H-E-B/Favor commercials airing in select Texas markets now include Reality TV, a spoof on reality romance shows, in which two women run out of wine mid-episode; Bike Instructor, where a Peloton-inspired trainer reminds a woman taking his virtual class that she’s forgotten to buy flowers for her mother’s birthday; and Yes, Chef, which shows a young man “totally and utterly” failing at making a meal from a cookbook who is prompted by the cookbook author to abandon the stove and order takeout from True Texas BBQ delivered for free in under an hour from H-E-B’s Favor.

In February 2018, H-E-B acquired Austin-based on-demand Favor Delivery service that launched in 2013. Today Favor’s 75,000 runners deliver groceries, food and beverages from select H-E-B stores, Central Markets, Joe V’s, Stripes and Circle Ks, as well as scores of restaurants from more than 130 cities across Texas.   

But as the pandemic ushered in a new era of speedy delivery and heightened competition for share of stomach in contactless markets, the new H-E-B commercials are designed to resonate with shoppers who want food, beverages and flowers from a brand they knew and trusted before COVID.

“Uber Eats and DoorDash are huge—they’re gorillas of delivery. Favor is a regional player having the cred of H-E-B behind them and that’s a good thing,” Chris Smith, Plot Twist principal and chief creative officer told WGB. “Consumers trust a big company like H-E-B that they know and understand.”

“Some consumers are aware [of the H-E-B/Favor relationship] but there’s still a large swath of Texas who don’t make the connection, nor do they understand why it matters,” says Rachel Dawer, writer and co-creator of Plot Twist’s H-E-B/Favor campaign. “When Amazon bought Whole Foods it was pretty clear what the benefits to shoppers would be, but when H-E-B acquired Favor those benefits were a bit less clear.”

Dawer further notes that H-E-B’s Favor has strong brand equity behind it, when compared to other delivery services that dangle coupon codes to motivate new customers to give them a try.

“We wanted these [ads] to feel relatable to everyday situations that address what consumers need,” Dawer said of the trio of commercials. As a resident of Austin, Dawer said she frequently sees the “Proposal Island” H-E-B Reality TV commercial directed by Kiran Koshy, while she’s “watching trashy [real reality TV] 'Love Island.' ”

At the time H-E-B’s acquisition of Favor was announced, the San Antonio-based company said, “With this powerful partnership, H-E-B accelerates its path to become a digital retail industry leader in Texas, enabling customers to choose how they shop, pay for and receive products. The partnership also complements H-E-B’s brick-and-mortar operations by growing its online presence to meet customers’ evolving needs and expectations.”

Just two years later, H-E-B and the world were thrown into a pandemic that would make online grocery ordering and delivery more critical than ever. While the surge in consumer demand for delivery coupled with labor shortages amplified by the pandemic created hiccups for many grocers and delivery services in the last year, H-E-B/Favor is clearly coming out swinging with this new campaign.

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