Aldi, the limited-assortment grocery store that aims to win shoppers over by stretching their food budgets, has found a clever way to stretch its giving, too. Teaming up with McCann WorldGroup, its ad agency, the chain has tapped six teams of Detroit-area art students to compete in its “Art Over Hunger” challenge.
First, the teams head to Detroit-area Aldi stores, where they are given $300 to stock up on nonperishables. Next, they report back to McCann’s Birmingham, Mich. office, where they will turn their food purchases into a six foot-by-six foot sculpture. Those are to be judged by a group of McCann’s creative, with the three teams earning cash prizes.
All the sculptures are scheduled to remain on display until Dec. 19, when they will be disassembled and donated to Gleaner’s Food Bank, which last year distributed 45 million pounds of emergency food in the Detroit area.
For Aldi, it’s a good brand fit, Ryan Fritsch, VP of Aldi’s Webberville, Mich. Division, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s community based, and Aldi is about helping people stretch their food dollars. Our 'Truth’ campaign, which began last summer, points out all the ways our stores do that, right down to the T-shirts associates wear. So this holiday contest is about stretching creativity, and allowing students to think outside the box. They are going to make something fantastic out of ordinary food.”
He says the company’s positioning has done well in Detroit, with its overwhelming economic problems. “The whole climate has been good for Aldi. The idea that we can lower prices without sacrificing quality is a nice message for Metro Detroit.”