Having recently replaced traditional cooler doors with smart screens in more than 500 of its stores around the U.S., Kroger is now selling inventory on the digital network on an upfront basis.
The retailer isn’t actually holding an event, but in a show of marketing flair, it is calling its program the first “In-Store Upfronts.”
Now through June 30, Kroger is accepting applications for inventory reservations for fourth-quarter 2023, and for each quarter of 2024.
Brand proposals, which can be submitted through Coolerscreens.com, will be evaluated in July.
The retailer says it will be looking for proposals that “drive meaningful impact on the customer experience and performance results leveraging customer insights data and technology platform capabilities”; innovative use of the 4K, life-sized digital screens to drive engagement; and investment level and duration of the campaign commitment.
Kroger’s recent rollout of the format follows a successful three-year pilot partnership with Cooler Screens, maker of the IoT-enabled screens.
The digital advertising and merchandising content is provided by modules running in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform IoT Edge runtime, which also enables the display solution to communicate and manage the Edge devices contained in each cooler door.
The screens use data and analytics solutions including Microsoft Power BI data visualization software, along with Azure Synapse analytics, to measure the effectiveness of digital merchandising and advertising.
The Cooler Screens network already reaches more than 90 million viewers monthly in stores across multiple retailers, and is projected to reach more than 200 million per month by early 2024, according to the company.