HBRA Captures Local Flavors of Penn Traffic

LOS ANGELES Independent Heil-Brice Retail Advertising will launch a new branding initiative for the Penn Traffic grocery chain, said the agency’s executive creative director.

The campaign, tagged “Your kind of store,” took Michael Robertson to several locations in Johnstown and Erie, Pa., and Syracuse, N.Y., two of the four states where Penn operates Bi-Lo Foods, Quality Markets, Riverside Markets and P&C Foods.

“The creative is almost a documentary look at the areas where they do business,” said Robertson. “Unlike the Wal-Marts and the Wegmans, the companies really grew up there.”

Robertson, whose agency has held the account since 2003, said the campaign exploits the “local connection” of the brand. “We saw a place, with the company recently coming out of bankruptcy, for advertising that feels good and connects emotionally with what they are known for, neighborhood flavor: a locally produced ice cream; carrying a special type of brown mustard for bratwursts; various specialties of the Finger Lakes region,” he said.

Newport Beach, Calif.-based HBRA shot the TV spot and its various executions by gathering B-roll of the stores’ neighborhood feel and visual points of interest. The crew included art director Joni Parenti, producer Jon Ross, director of photography Ethan Mass and Robertson directing. To stretch the client’s small budget, the team even shot colorful locals in winter coats, stacking wood, and put pumpkins in store windows for fall and winter commercials to come.

Campaign spending is undisclosed. The first spot breaks June 19 in the local markets of the chains.