Audio Spotlight Engages Shoppers with Targeted Message

Directional Sound Technology Drives Sales of Fair Trade Bananas in New Zealand Supermarket

Keep your ears peeled in the produce section at the New World supermarket in Victoria Park and you might just start hearing voices. Do not worry, you're not going crazy. You will be receiving an important – albeit subliminal – message about fair trade and environmentally friendly bananas.

The unique and innovative in-store ad experience for All Good bananas features the revolutionary Audio Spotlight technology. This technology directs a narrow beam of sound into a confined area, which only the person standing there can hear.

Matt Williams and Freddie Coltart are the young creatives at Ogilvy ad agency who developed the concept for the promotion. Their idea was to have customers, when standing on a floor sign in front of the All Good bananas stand, hear a targeted message that evoked their conscience to consider the fair trade product.

"The decision to buy fair trade products is ultimately made by our conscience. It's an active choice based on individual values," says Mr. Williams. "With the Audio Spotlight technology, we saw a clever way to communicate individually with shoppers, by actually posing as their conscience, and giving them some information about fair trade options that they might not have had before."



Mr. Williams continued, "Provision Technologies from Auckland, in conjunction with Holosonics, the USA-based manufacturer, were very supportive of the concept and have loaned us the technology at no cost, because it is supporting such a good cause."

Part of the message, voiced by Kiwi actress Rose McIver, says "Know who I am? I'm that inner voice. I want to talk to you about something, something really important – Fair Trade... Choosing [All Good bananas] means you're helping growers feed their families and support their communities – they get paid a fair price. So now you know which ones to choose – make a good choice."

Simon Coley, Director of All Good Bananas, says he's thrilled that the installation will be communicating the fair trade story to shoppers in a way that makes a powerful impact. "Our message is that fair trade products are not only good for the growers and their communities, they're also good for the environment because they are sustainably grown, and good for you. That's something that comes through loud and clear in this promotion, even though the audio itself will be relatively quiet!"

Dr. Joseph Pompei, inventor of the Audio Spotlight technology and founder of Holosonics, added "We're always delighted to see creative teams like Ogilvy come up with clever and effective campaigns that use our technology in new ways, especially when there is such a noble cause behind it. It's a great way to be sure someone clearly hears an important message, without creating bothersome noise elsewhere."

"Victoria Park New World Store Owner, Jason Witehira, is also pleased with the installation and has been impressed by his customers' initial reactions to it. "I'm always looking for innovative ways to tell the stories about products like these to our customers," he says. 

Photo and information courtesy of Ogilvy.

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  • Speak to shoppers, right at the point of purchase

  • Avoid filling entire store with unpleasant noise

  • Simple installation with a clean, attractive look

  • Low cost, large potential return on investment