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Tickled Pink for a Cause

Rainier Industries creates building wrap and more for Kroger.

To help support National Breast Cancer Awareness last October, grocery retailer Kroger turned its Cincinnati-based corporate headquarters pink as part of its “Giving Hope a Hand” campaign.

Along with pink lighting, the job called for a dozen four- and nine-foot tall double-sided pole banners, a 36 x 6-foot skyway mural, and two 150 x 30-foot mesh banners that draped the Kroger headquarters building. Print provider Rainier Industries of Tukwila, Washington was chosen to output the graphics.

Because Rainier had handled this project in year’s past, the shop was no stranger to the logistics involved in handling such a large campaign. “With such a huge job, getting files on time is essential. So to ensure all deadlines were met, we supplied a schedule highlighting critical dates and cost penalties related to delays very early on,” explains Dan Zinsmeyer with Rainier.

General Mills and Kroger’s customer promotion marketing team designed the graphics, all of which supported the campaign’s online theme, “Share Courage” – an online hub dedicated to women dealing with breast cancer. A 2D mobile-response code integrated into the graphics would direct passersby to the Facebook page.

Files were sent to Rainier, which then performed a round of material proofs for color matching. The shop also produced a 16 x 16-foot mobile-response code for the marketing team to test with their mobile devices. Once all proofs had been approved, final output was done using the shop’s Durst Rho 500 with Durst UV Roll ink with a Caldera RIP, onto Seattle Textile 10-ounce mesh. Finishing included a locking double stitch executed with a Pfaff 1245 industrial sewing machine, as well as RF welding with nylon 47mm webbing using a Forsstrom TD 800 RF Track Welder. Grommets were added using a Monro 16 FEI.

Over the course of two days, five installers handled the graphic install work and also added lighting components. Sixty-five glass filters replaced permanent light fixtures to “pink wash” the building, and an oversized pink light switch was created to turn on the pink lights for the public reveal media event.

“For the banner installation, we utilized the previously installed turnbuckle-plate and cable system,” says Zinsmeyer. “Because we’ve worked on this campaign for several years, most of the installation challenges had already been smoothed out. The cable frame components included a water-cut metal plate welded and powdercoated to match the building’s masonry, a 750-foot steel cable, and galvanized threaded eyelets.”

At the end of each Kroger breast cancer awareness campaign, Rainier repurposes the printed mesh material to create more than 500 beach totes that are handed out at various Kroger events. The 2011 banners are currently en route back to Rainier to create more mesh bags.

The end result of the campaign: Kroger and key suppliers committed to donating $3 million for local breast cancer initiatives across the country. Yoplait, the yogurt subsidiary of General Mills and another campaign partner, donated $1 for every time someone liked the Facebook page, shared the site with friends, donated their Facebook status to promote the campaign, or made a donation to breast cancer research through the site.

Rainier Industries

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