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Kroger to Get Advertising Revamp With New DDB New York Partnership

Retailer's first agency of record is known for ultracreative bits
Kroger Storefront
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Kroger Co. has taken its next step in upping its marketing efforts, naming DDB New York as its first agency of record following a search that lasted several months.

DDB is known for an edgy approach that could bring new color to the relatively staid Kroger brand. The agency has worked on a campaign with Skittles in which “Dexter” and Broadway actor Michael C. Hall sings about how “advertising ruins everything.” DDB New York has also partnered with YouTube personality Casey Neistat to revamp an abandoned mall for a Christmas surprise to market Samsung products. 

Kroger officials have said that improved marketing would be an element of the chain’s identical store sales improvements. Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen expressed in a call with investors last month that the retailer wishes to use its data to target what should be worked on, including “being a little bit better at telling the customer our story.”

Kroger’s decision came after a competitive pitch process, in which Mandy Rassi, Kroger's head of brand building, said DDB New York “stood out for its creativity, passion for our business and industry, and collaborative spirit.”

“A standout brand and narrative will drive more customers to choose Kroger more often via any channel,” Rassi said. “Kroger and DDB will work together to cut through the 'sea of sameness' that has arisen in grocery retail advertising, thereby supporting our transformation as a company."

Company officials said the move is important as Kroger becomes an omnichannel retailer, powered by four modalities: store, delivery, pickup and Ship. 

DDB New York will focus on Kroger’s history and Feed the Human Spirit campaign with “an elevated creative and strategic approach,” according to company officials. 

Audrey Melofchik, president of DDB New York, said that with Kroger, “there is massive creative potential to be explored within the brand.”

DDB Worldwide was named the No. 2 Network of the Year at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

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