Calgary Co-op

Case Study Calgary Co-op


Grocery is an extremely competitive landscape - from shifting offerings to new ecommerce services, evolving loyalty programs, and pricing perceptions, many retailers are under pressure to meet evolving customer expectations and capture their attention. Calgary Co-op has gone through major changes in the last few years in order to adapt to these competitive pressures, including the recent introduction of their own high quality, locally sourced, private brand product line, Cal & Gary’s.

Since introducing Cal & Gary’s in April 2020, Calgary Co-op needed an integrated media strategy to launch the product line to all Calgarians. The goal of the 2020 launch was awareness of the new private brand and achieving brand recall, to be measured through a post-campaign research study.


To achieve a high level of awareness, we knew that the Cal & Gary’s launch needed an integrated paid media strategy that leveraged mass awareness channels to build frequency and a layered digital execution to demonstrate the breadth of product offerings. Broadcast TV was the cornerstone of the offline channels, key to reaching Calgarians A25 - 54, but needed to be supplemented with online TV to ensure we were also reaching a younger audience who are more likely to be viewing TV digitally.

Broadcast radio was included to support mass awareness as it also allowed for key item features each week which reinforced the breadth of product offerings. Online radio was also included to extend the reach of the broadcast spots to a digital listener base. OOH was leveraged extensively with several placements including digital OOH boards, transit shelters, transit kings, and C-Train wraps. This extensive coverage throughout the city allowed for many points of reach and frequency.

The digital portion of the integrated media plan included a number of different channels and targeting methods including Facebook, Instagram, Google Display, YouTube, and third-party programmatic partners.

It is important to note that this strategy was also complemented by PR and earned efforts on behalf of the Calgary Co-op team and their partners. This included extensive news coverage and working with local influencers with strong social media followings, providing them with hampers filled with Cal & Gary’s products to showcase to their followers.


The paid media campaign generated over 160 million impressions in the seven-week flight, driving over 40k clicks to the website and over 2 million videos views. A dramatic increase in organic search and direct website traffic was also measured as a result of the strong media presence (paid, earned and owned).

Post-campaign research found that the new Cal & Gary’s brand was able to achieve a high rate of brand recall at 85%, which is similar to the top national brand competitors, even though they had been around for much, much longer. This also boosted awareness of the Calgary Co-op brand with the research finding that the Calgary Co-op had the highest aided recall of any grocery store at the time of the survey.

Brand recall