Coca-Cola, Diageo, Unilever and an undisclosed fourth company are taking part in a trial to measure the effectiveness of in-store advertising in supermarkets.
The system, which has been developed by the Point of Purchase Advertising Institute UK (POPAI UK), will monitor the behaviour of shoppers using a video headset. There will also be cameras placed in supermarket aisles stocking products from the participating companies.
The Marketing At Retail Initiative (MARI) trial will run in selected Morrisons supermarkets next spring. Shoppers invited to take part will be rewarded with money-off coupons.
Martin Kingdon, POPAI UK director-general, says: “The MARI study offers us the first real opportunity to see in-store in its true light as a medium that attracts the shopper, offers an audience, and builds brands either in conjunction with other media or as a standalone.”
Diageo category development manager Manus Blessing says that the MARI study should help companies to understand which brands in-store advertising works well for and how effective it is.
Nick Widdowson, merchandising manager at Unilever UK Foods, adds: “We have the chance to establish a new language for the accountability of POP that will allow it to be compared with other media, thus allowing brands to make a more informed choice on media spend decisions.”
The MARI study will also launch in the US in spring in grocery, convenience, forecourt and pharmacy sectors. US sponsors include Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, Frito Lay and McKee Foods.