PLEASANTON, Calif. — Fairfax Corner — a shopping and entertainment center near Washington — has never worked with a supermarket for a big on-premise marketing event.
That is, until the Safeway Bright Green Cleaning Team came to town. Safeway set up in the center's grand plaza, and gave out samples and demonstrated the effectiveness of its Bright Green store brand. What's more, volunteers from a local youth agency used Bright Green products to clean tables, chairs, benches and other equipment in the plaza.
Shoppers could even spin a game wheel to win eco-friendly prizes.
The May event was a hit at Fairfax Corner, according to Lindsey Groom, marketing manager for the Peterson Cos., Fairfax, Va., owner and operator of the facility.
“Our customers enjoyed it because it was presented in a fun way,” Groom told SN.
It's all part of the second annual Bright Green Clean Team road tour, a five-month, seven-city marketing event for Safeway's private-label green household cleaning line.
“Our aim is to engage consumers at the community level and demonstrate how easy it can be to contribute to a cleaner and healthier community — and planet,” Alex Petrov, Safeway's vice president, consumer brands marketing, said in a statement.
The tour kicked off in May in Washington, and has already hit Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco. Next up are stops in Chicago and Los Angeles.
At each city, Safeway partners with local organizations, which send volunteers to assist in the cleanups. For instance, the Adams Morgan Youth Leadership Academy, a Washington-based organization that provides youth with mentoring, life skills and other support, assisted in the Fairfax Corner cleanup, while the Pocock Junior Rowing Club participated in the cleanup of the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
The Woodland Park Zoo got its food pavilion and several other high-traffic areas cleaned. It was thrilled to get the maintenance help, and hopes the Bright Green Clean Team will come back again.
“The all-natural products fit well with our conservation mission, plus they are incredibly friendly and easy to work with,” Katie Love, the zoo's marketing coordinator, told SN.
Local residents in each market can register at www.cleanitgreenitsweepstakes.com  to win a Bright Green clean-up day for their school.
Launched in November 2008, Bright Green is a line of environmentally friendly home care products, including cleaners that are biodegradable and made from naturally derived ingredients. Bright Green products are formulated to be as effective as leading national brands, according to Safeway.
By taking the brand out of the store and into the community, Safeway is doing something common among national-brand marketers, but rare for store brands, said Jim Hertel, managing partner at Willard Bishop, Barrington, Ill.
“When it comes to private brands, most retailers look at margin opportunities and price image enhancement,” he said. “But few think of themselves the way national-brand marketers do.”
The strategy is especially beneficial when it comes to green cleaning products, which often carry the stigma that they don't clean as well as their traditional counterparts.
“This enables Safeway to show how effective the Bright Green brand is,” Hertel said.