To what extent has advertising played an integral role in the Morrisons campaign?

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With the economy becoming increasingly harsher in 2008, Morrisons wanted a campaign that would help avoid the looming price wars and communicate their brand values in order to strengthen relationships with customers and young families. The growing interest in food, whether it be the source, freshness, or quality, is associated with societal concern about obesity. Morrisons’ brand values are rooted in fresh food and so it was natural to develop a programme anchored around schools and schoolchildren. This was the seed for the ‘Let’s grow’ community engagement programme. For each £10 spent in Morrisons, customers earned a voucher. This was redeemable as gardening tools, equipment and seeds for schools. The goal was to help children to learn about and of course grow their own fruit and vegetables. Following consultation with agencies, partner organisations and charities such as Farming and Countryside Education and the Federation of City Farms and Gardens, a carefully crafted set of learning resources was developed, designed to support Key Stage 1 teachers. This also enabled Morrisons to specify the gardening equipment so that they matched the lesson plans. The campaign had to be managed in many ways. In addition to the ‘Let’s grow’ creative, there were communications with schools, third-party gardening equipment suppliers and the media planning and public relations activities. Most of this was assigned to the Billington Cartmell agency appointed to run the campaign. In-store posters and leaflets were distributed throughout all the Morrisons stores, and staff briefings were held to inform about the campaign mechanics, prior to launch. Direct mail was used to inform schools of the ‘Let’s grow’ campaign and to tell them how they could get involved. This was supported by a TV advert featuring celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin, and coverage in local and national press. Online activity on parenting websites provided links to the ‘Let’s grow’ pages on the Morrisons website. Each school was provided with banners for the school gates, and visits and lessons from local gardening experts. With a target of 8,000 schools, the campaign resulted in over 18,000 signing up, 39 million vouchers were collected, and £3.2 million of gardening equipment was distributed by Morrisons. Using econometric modelling to measure performance, it was found that an additional 1.733 million shopping visits were made as a direct result of the campaign, and incremental turnover was £52 million. With a campaign budget of £2.5m the return on investment was £21.57 for every £1. And if that was not enough, perceptions of Morrisons being linked to food sources and that they were involved in the local community rose substantially. Source:Based on Barda (2010); Anon (2010); Heyworth et al. (2009)
Question To what extent has advertising played an integral role in the Morrisons campaign?
Task Identify the elements that have been integrated in this campaign. What else might have been included?

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