BOSTON -- Stop & Shop Cos. will be the first chain to launch a promotion in which the sale of concert videotapes will benefit charities fighting hunger.
The "In Concert Against Hunger" program will start on April 3 and run four to six weeks. The videos will retail at $6.99, with 75 cents from each sale going to Second Harvest and the Center for Poverty, Hunger and Nutrition, said Barry Grieff, chairman and chief executive officer of Promotional Concept Group, New York.
The 15 concert video titles in the promotion will feature major stars performing their biggest hits, he said. Among them are Elton John, Eric Clapton, Ray Orbison, the Doors, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys.
Titles remaining from the promotion will be picked up and used with other retailers, said Grieff. Co-op advertising allowances and large display units will be provided, he said.
"We wanted to create a promotion for cause-related marketing using a major charity that is near and dear to the hearts of supermarket chains and food manufacturers," said Grieff. Many retailers provide Second Harvest and local food banks with food for shelters and free meal programs, he said. Second Harvest is an umbrella organization for 185 food banks.
Stop & Shop's Bob Tobin, president and chief operating officer, is on the board of Second Harvest, said Grieff. When asked if he would support the concert video program, Tobin said he wanted Stop & Shop to be the first with it, said Grieff.
Stop & Shop did not respond to phone calls for comment.
This is the first promotion to link a charity with sell-through videos in supermarkets, said Jerry Saslow, executive vice president of Excel Marketing Services, Garden City, N.Y. Excel and
PCG began presenting the promotion during the housewares show in Chicago in January. PCG is coordinating the product side of the promotion, while Excel works with the retailers.
Many other retailers are interested in the concert video benefit program, said Saslow. Grand Union, Wayne, N.J., has signed up to launch in June, he said.
"Rock groups and other entertainers are great tie-ins with this type of promotion because they are so frequently involved with charities," said Saslow. "With supermarkets that are already involved in Second Harvest, we felt it all made a lot of sense."
The program is structured so that all parties will profit from it, while at the same time generating a significant per-unit contribution to the charities, Grieff said. "We wanted it to have a meaningful contribution," he said, compared with other promotions that only return a few cents per unit to the charity.
"If the supermarket is perceived as putting something back into their local community, that's good. This seems to be one of those rare occurrences where everybody benefits," he said.
PCG will license the video concerts from a number of labels, said Grieff. "These titles have been selling for $14 to $15. These are timeless artists that people are interested in collecting the music of. But they may not have had the opportunity to buy these concert videos at such a good price and see the artists singing their greatest hits," he said.
This is the first joint project for PCG and Excel, and others will follow, said Saslow. PCG has a great deal of experience in video promotions while Excel has a long history in nonfood continuities and other in-and-out promotions. Among their future projects will be audio book and movie promotions, said Saslow.