M/J Puts Words in Play for Grocer

DALLAS McGarrah/Jessee has launched a radio campaign for Central Market to promote specific foods, beverages and occasions such as Valentine’s Day, the agency said.

The Austin, Texas, independent created a series of 60- and 45-second spots to air through February in all Texas markets where the division of the H-E-B Grocery Co. operates—San Antonio, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, the agency said. The radio campaign supports an array of current brand marketing projects.

Spots entitled “Wee Henry,” “Rut” and “Ginkgo? Gesundheit!” follow a monologue format with the narrator emphasizing distinctive foods and wordplay, e.g., “In China, they believe cloves make a man.”

“Wee Henry” incorporates dozens of specialty beer names into a rapid-fire quiz. With brews such as Golden Monkey, Dead Guy, Fat Tire and Pumpkin Head, only the savviest of beer lovers would be aware of the ad’s subject matter. After posing several bizarre questions, e.g., “Would you chase a White Rascal with a Flying Dog?” the speaker concludes by announcing, “The answer awaits beer lovers at Central Market.”

“Rut” asks, “Have you done anything interesting lately?” Whether it is through cake batter ice cream, papayas, leeks or Stinking Bishop wine, the spot boasts Central Market’s ability to help listeners declare, “Sayonara, doldrums!”

“Ginkgo? Gesundheit!” offers an entertaining historical and cultural perspective on aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day aficionados.

“This campaign is fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is refreshing within the high-end food category,” said Cameron Day, executive creative director at M/J. “People can flip past radio ads without even thinking, so our goal was to not only draw listeners in, but to intrigue and even educate.”

Previous M/J work for Central Market followed a similar focus on the specialty foods niche and included store signage, media planning and buying, and promotional literature such as a wine and food pairing guide.

Spending details for the current radio campaign were undisclosed.

H-E-B opened its first Central Market in Austin in 1994. Central Market entered the North Texas market in 2001 and now operates stores in Fort Worth, Plano and Dallas, in addition to locations in Houston, Austin and San Antonio.