Meet the 'kroji': Kroger rolls out brand refresh starring animated characters

The campaign aligns with the grocery chain's "fresh for everyone" purpose.

CINCINNATI: Grocery chain Kroger is refreshing its brand with a new logo, tagline and marketing campaign featuring "kroji," or animated characters representing customers and employees. 

The campaign includes in-store, television, radio, digital, print, social media, podcast, cinema, outdoor, TV and music-streaming elements. DDB New York, which Kroger hired in July as its first creative AOR, helped the grocer create the new look and feel. The chain did not work with a PR agency. 

Kroger VP of marketing Mandy Rassi said the company began working on the brand transformation about a year ago and chose animated characters, along with the tagline "fresh for everyone," in part to correspond with Kroger’s corporate purpose.

old and new Kroger logos

"It’s fun and positive, and we chose animation as a creative device to bring ‘fresh for everyone’ to life," she said. "It is fun and uplifting and sits well with the Kroger brand if you think about our corporate purpose, which is ‘feed the human spirit.’"

Rassi added that all of the grocer’s marketing efforts, both advertising and traditional communications, align with the company’s purpose.

"The campaign needs to live underneath that and bring specificity and benefits to what we stand for as a company," she said. "The reality is that content is created all over the place, and there’s no hard line between marketing, PR and corporate affairs, or even, for that matter, what our associates are putting out for our brand."

Rassi explained that Kroger began by speaking to its employees about the campaign to get them on board with the concepts and enlist them as ambassadors for the external rollout.

"Several weeks ago, we embarked on the associate launch," she said. "We provided them with perspective on why we were doing this and what it meant for [employees] and discussing how does it impact them. It was a fun campaign and we invited them to build their own kroji.

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