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Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Essential Thanks

Entered in Integrated Campaign


In early March, almost overnight, the world stopped. Events were canceled, restaurants shuttered their doors and grocery stores became the most essential business in the community, a lifeline. Wakefern Food Corp launched the “Essential Thanks” integrated marketing campaign to honor all of our Essential Heroes on the frontline during the pandemic, on behalf of the ShopRite, Price Rite, Fresh Grocer and Dearborn Markets grocery banners.

Our campaign objective was to increase awareness of our retail associates’ efforts and raise money for food banks in our trading areas. Our omni-channel advertising campaign encouraged fans to visit and upload a “thank you message” to essential heroes on the frontlines, or to share messages on their Twitter or Instagram accounts with the #EssentialThanks hashtag. All messages were aggregated to the website and for every “Thank You” received, ShopRite donated $1 to fight hunger in our communities, up to $500,000.

Essential Thanks celebrated the spirit of our front line workers and created a call to action that spread joy throughout the communities we serve. 

Strategy and Execution

Wakefern Food Corp supported the Essential Campaign through the following outlets, yielding strong media results. Our unique campaign design was woven creatively across media platforms, including:  

Complete Campaign Review, here:


#EssentialThanks generated more than 900 MILLION+ Media Impressions across broadcast television, online video, out of home and social media, ammassed thousands of thank you messages on, and drove immeasurable amounts of goodwill. More importantly, this campaign supported our donation efforts to local food banks across our trading area. The Essential Heroes television ad set the tone for the campaign, featuring real ShopRite associates throughout our stores and warehouses. The emotional, thought-provoking ad gave viewers a first-hand look at our heroes on the front lines of this pandemic and encouraged our customers to upload their “thank you cards” to the website. Americans across our trading area shared their #EssentialThanks on our website – showing solidarity for those working to keep everyone safe. Visit to read through the outpouring of support for our associates, who have always been the backbone of our business, essential to the communities they serve. In the face of crisis, they persevered and became heroes, serving the public with grace. 

The “Essential Thanks” campaign gave us the platform to salute our retail associates and allow our communities to help us give back, lift our collective spirits and bring about messages of positivity and hope. At the end of the campaign, Wakefern pledged the full $500,000 donation to local food banks. Fighting hunger has always been at the heart of our core values, and ever important during this time of crisis.


Video for Essential Thanks

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Wakefern Food Corp


Entry Credits