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SPAR Northern Ireland Gets Passionate About Local with Bus Ads

SPAR Northern Ireland’s latest multi-media campaign ‘Made of Fresh’ was devised by award-winning local agency, Genesis, and is the result of independent research that indicated SPAR had made great strides over the past few years in customers’ perceptions of the quality and freshness of its food, but there was still further opportunity. That opportunity lay in leveraging SPAR’s locally sourced credentials.

SPAR Northern Ireland Bus Advertising 2015

Photo (Left to Right): Kathryn Lindsay (Account and Marketing Manager, PML Group NI), Bronagh Henderson (Brand Marketing Manager, Henderson Group), Nuala Meenehan (Agency Account Manager, Exterion Media), Janine Wells (Media Manager, Genesis Advertising & Natasha Downey (Specialist Sales Executive, Exterion Media).

75% of ALL SPAR Northern Ireland’s fresh food is sourced locally, and the research revealed that this would have a have a major impact on consumers’ likelihood to shop at SPAR.

The strength of local food when influencing shoppers is further reinforced by Exterion Media Northern Ireland’s audience panel,, which uncovered consumers’ attitudes to buying local.  1in3 say they always check the country of origin of a brand before buying it, whilst almost half always buy local brands where available.

This month, the through-the-line ‘Made of Fresh’ campaign took to the road, in proximity to SPAR Northern Ireland stores, using the innovative and impactful Bus Hug format. The use of a combination of Mega Rears, T-Sides and Supersides places the ‘Passionate About Local’ message at a moment when the audience could take action and visit a SPAR store! This placement is ideal for engaging the 61% who come into contact with Bus Ads when on the way to do their main weekly grocery shop, and the 57% who are on their way to do some top-up food shopping (Source:

Bronagh Henderson, Brand Marketing Manager at Henderson Group - owners of the SPAR franchise in Northern Ireland, commented:

“SPAR has an established record of supporting local suppliers, having worked with more than 200 farmers, growers and distributors for over 50 years. Research has proved that provenance is important to Northern Ireland shoppers and as a result we were keen to communicate our passion and investment in the local community. This was the focus for our 2015 marketing campaign and Bus Hugs were one important strand of the marketing mix employed to communicate this key message, we are ‘Passionate About local’. The Bus Hugs worked well for us and we are impressed with their impact, ability to influence, standout and overall value for money".

Janine Wells, Media Manager at Genesis Advertising, commented:

“The Bus Hugs played an integral part of the media mix.  The eye-catching formats provided impact and stand out.  It is said that ‘we eat with our eyes’ and the images were designed to create cut-through, particularly in urban areas where the environment tends to be grey, reminding people, even in the depths of the city, that SPAR brings them all this delicious, fresh (and local) food at the times and in the places where they might least expect it".

Janine further commented on how the community connection with Bus created real synergy with the SPAR strategy and how the mobility of Bus Advertising helped maximise the campaign’s coverage,

“Buses are truly local with 90% of people believing they are an important part of the community which further enhanced our ‘Passionate About Local’ message.  By using a mix of Bus formats we were able to target both pedestrian and vehicular traffic in high traffic flow areas where dwell time is increased.  Over the duration of the campaign the buses will reach an impressive 79% of NI mainshoppers, make 20,788 trips, covering 11,272 miles, therefore maximising coverage of the campaign”.

Bus Hugs SPAR Northern IrelandThe SPAR Bus Hugs are accompanied by onboard Passenger Panels, perfect for delivering all important dwell time for the message.  What’s more, 1in3 members told us they often use their mobile phone when travelling on a bus to make a shopping list!

The campaign was planned and bought by Genesis and PML Northern Ireland.  

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