The Mystery of the Escaping Shopping Carts

Milan - Saatchi & Saatchi, in support of Carrefour Italia’s pooling project to launch 106 new Carrefour Markets in Lazio by next June 16th, has developed a truly integrated campaign.

Starting from the new international positioning of the Carrefour brand, “Positive every day”, a communication project was developed that, for the first time for an Italian retailer, involved various media both synergistically and simultaneously.

The supporting creative idea around which the project is articulated is the “appeal of value for money” that no one is able to resist, starting from the supermarket protagonists: the shopping carts. They have been seen racing through every neighbourhood in Rome, immortalised on web sites, the free press and local press and have endorsed the openings of new markets.

The communication was structured in two phases.  The first teaser phase involved:

- Guerrilla marketing: an entertaining street-show with remote controlled carts that took place for four days in the centre of Rome.

- Circuit of Rome metro and train stations: 2 specially made spots inserted in the TV news as actual news reports, giving news of the sightings to feed the mystery and curiosity about the unpredictable moves of the carts.

- Internet with video banners and viral mini-spots that were aimed at telling about citizens' sightings of the carts, and an interactive mini-site ( that published all the testimonies. A dedicated blog collected the comments of passers-by.

In the second phase, the mystery had to be solved for the viewer. All the media involved in the first phase were used again to revealed the destination of the carts. Furthermore, with a special “dust jacket”, the free press shared the news of the new supermarket openings, simulating an “extra” edition.

To celebrate the end of the operation, a 90” film appeared on the Internet, featuring many scenes of carts abandoned in the most unlikely places in the capital city.  Lured by the appeal of value for money, they come to life and all of them head towards the new Carrefour Market.

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