Żabka [Little Frog] is the name of the biggest chain of convenience stores in Poland. The chain consist of over 1800 franchised shops in 2008. In September 2008 Żabka started a teaser campaign to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the chain’s foundation. In all the biggest daily newspapers across Poland people found simple ads announcing the decision of the Executive Board of Żabka chain: Żabka’s will be shut down as of 15 September 2008. Similar announcements were also placed on the doors of 1800 Żabka stores across Poland.
Hereby we inform that Executive Board of Żabka Polska SA decided to shut down Żabka as of 15 September
Similar announcements were also placed on the doors of 1800 Żabka stores – somebody placed a video on YouTube showing the announcement he found in his local Żabka store.
This announcement created a lot of buzz, especially in Internet – people were discussing it at a number of forums, blogs and speculated what was really behind this surprising announcement of Żabka’s Executive Board. There were different ideas in the air – for example that the Executive Board is just planning to give a day off on 15 September to all the Żabka eployees to celebrate the 10th birthday of the chain. Some time later the spokesperson of Żabka denied the speculations that Żabka stores are to be shut down and explained that it’s the first stage of a campaign.
I suspect that the picket in front of some Żabka store with the people shouting: “Don’t shut down Żabkas!” and “Hands off Żabkas” are part of the campaign effort ;-) You may check some video of that below.
Due to our 10th birthday we shut down little frogs with cash! 1 000 000 PLN in the pool of prizes!
A few weeks later the unravelling of the mysterious announcement appeared in the newspapers – it turned out that Żabka launched a big consumer promotion with a pool of 1 million PLN in prizes. The new ads had the copy that used the begging of the teaser ads’ copy: “Zamyka Żabki” [we shut down the Little Frogs], but explained that “Żabki” [Little Frogs] reffered to Safe-deposit Boxes in the shape of a Frog, where the promo prizes had apparently been shut.
The campaign was created by a Polish agency Tequila\ (part of TBWA\ Group) and planned by media agency MindShare.