Dutch Supermarket Albert Heijn Experiments with Digital Signage

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Albert Heijn is the biggest supermarket chain in the Netherlands (with close to a thousand locations), and as such, the company wants to be an innovator in the Dutch market. The campaign is called the “Echt Vers” concept, which literally translates into “Real Fresh” concept. The concept is to communicate the freshness to its visiting clients by using screens instead of printing materials to illustrate the origins of the fruits, vegetables etc.

Nominating Company: Creative Action Holland B.V., Rotterdam, Netherlands
Venue: Albert Heijn Vers Hoofddorp, Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Project: “Echt Vers” at Albert Heijn Vers Hoofddorp
Category: Retail Environments

BACKGROUND
With the “Echt Vers” campaign comes a new brand identity in which Albert Heijn uses a different visual identity, approach and strategy. This also meant that we will had to adapt our animations to fit into this new identity, and our design team worked closely with the Albert Heijn marketing team to ensure that the outcome reflects the Albert Heijn ideology and guidelines. Every week, the marketing team of Albert Heijn came up with new promotions and ideas for seasonal products and we at Creative Action translated these into eye-catching animations

CHALLENGES
To turn this campaign into a successful digital signage project, we had to evaluate all the available options and locations for screen placements. The first criteria was that the screen placement must have a goal, whether it was to entice the customers into buying a certain product or to raise awareness of the freshness of the products. Ultimately, we decided to place the screens in essential locations and frequently visited places like the produce area, bakery, cash registers and shop front. The screens are placed in strategic places where the traffic is high and where the freshness of the product is essential for the decision making of the customer. The first location was at the Hoofddorp location, which currently has 18 screens. That was the first step in the rollout. In the showcase video, you can see how the concept flourished into reality.

Albert Heijn pic3

SOLUTIONS
We used CASS Red™, the CMS within the Creative Action Digital Signage solution, to manage the content that is sent to these screens. In the CMS, we differentiated between large, medium and small locations. This was done in order to be able to distinguish the content, because as expected, a small location will not have as many screens as a bigger location. Currently, we have the only software that can provide ad-hoc content switching. We do this by the use of a remote control. To explain this feature, we will use the following example:

If content A is on channel 1 and you want to switch to content B on channel 13, you can switch to this channel by using our remote control. This feature is called on-demand channels. Our Media Player can currently hold up to 999 channels with content, and these on-demand channels can even work offline.

Albert Heijn pic2

RESULTS
The feedback we have received from the store owners is extremely positive. With a downtime of less than 0.5 percent, we guarantee and come through when it comes to providing good hardware and software. Albert Heijn has not done official market research to evaluate the feedback of the visiting clients, but the store managers have commented that the people appreciate the fact that the screens remind them of new promotions, recipes, cooking ideas etc. The management at Albert Heijn located in Krimpen a/d Ijsel has commented that these screens have elevated their establishment to a modernized location in which clients have more entertainment value in the retail environment.

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