The Christmas period is the most important period of the year for supermarkets. Every year, the week before Christmas is the largest turnover within the supermarket sector. It is an important period for Albert Heijn to present itself as market leader, to improve perception and to strengthen the relationship with its customers.

Albert Heijn sets the bar high for 2019. It has to be the most successful Christmas campaign ever. We have changed course and opted for a distinctive media strategy; not only by reaching and emotionally touching consumers, but also by being inspiring, helping and activating them. 

Christmas campaign approach

1. Create synergy between all messages and channels, consistency and focus
Lower the amount of messages and make choices. This applies to creation, but also to media and both the paid and own resources of Albert Heijn. 

2. Be relevant and follow the rhythm of the customer.
Focus on the whole of the Netherlands, but follow the 'individual' customer rhythm in media. Empower channels; emotional vs. rational & inspiration vs. functional.

3. Behave as a market leader.
Don't want to be present everywhere all the time, but where and when we are present we need to be visible to the maximum.

Recipes at every level
The success of 2019 was due to a totally integrated communication strategy. From the shop floor to the ‘Bonus’ offer, from the App to Allerhande and from the creative concept to media, everything had to add up.

The focus was on our favourite Dutch Christmas dishes; 21 dishes that were chosen based on  research. The recipes for these dishes were offered at different levels; consumers who opt for convenience but also suitable for consumers who want to put more time into the dishes. The communication strategy fitted in seamlessly. Different messages were always attuned to the different touch points and moments, taking into account the needs of the consumer.

Emotional vs rational & inspiration vs functional
We have clearly defined the role of each resource in advance. Each resource is judged on the axis of emotional vs. rational & inspiration vs. functional, so that media and creation reinforce each other everywhere. For example within Social; Pinterest for inspiration, Instagram for emotion and Facebook more rational and functional.

We started in October. The 21 dishes could be found within the recipe content including a so-called 'buy button', so that interested parties could immediately add all necessities to their 'favorites' or shopping list.

The first weeks of the campaign were dominated by inspiration with the 21 Christmas dishes. Through all our own means (food cards in the shop, app and on a Christmas menu generator, more extensive recipes in Allerhande assortment guide), but also through Pinterest we offered inspiration.

By continuously aligning media, creation and consumer needs, we made sure that every medium was used in its power, we always attuned the message to the consumer's time and need.

An unforgettable Christmas

The Christmas campaign 2019 was unforgettable. It is Albert Heijn's most successful Christmas campaign ever. With the same budget as 2018, all results have increased significantly. We can conclude that the strategy has been extremely successful and the effect per contact has increased significantly.