Bodegas in New York City have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, as people have largely stopped ordering sandwiches from them—a major portion of their revenue. Still, while hundreds of bodegas have closed, many have stayed open—providing staples like milk, eggs, bread and cleaning supplies to residents who can't get to the big grocery stores.
As a thank-you, the NYC-born beverage brand Vita Coco—which sells a significant percentage of its product through bodegas—is rolling out a campaign of "love letters," from agency Interesting Development, saluting the shops for staying open.
The best part is, the OOH ads were done in the tumultuous design language of your typical corner store—with a mishmash of fonts and images crowded into a pleasingly chaotic whole. All of the ads begin, "Dearest Bodega," and end with, "Love, Vita Coco."
Here's one designed like a menu:
These two celebrate the marvelous range of products that bodegas tend to stock:
And this one salutes what's perhaps the bodega's signature item, the "humble BEC"—or bacon, egg and cheese sandwich:
The ads are going up on phone kiosks and wild postings throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. They're also being made available as window posters distributed directly to bodegas.
"We wanted to celebrate the iconic look of NYC bodega window signs and menus and try to stay as true to that look as possible," Johan Leandersson, creative director at Interesting Development, tells Muse. "They tend to have a wonderful mix of multiple different typefaces, contrasting colors, gradients, stock footage and drop shadows, all at once. It's such a New York staple that we all love, so this was our little homage to them."
Vita Coco is also partnering with My Bodega Online, a recently launched delivery app, to deliver BEC sandwiches and Vita Coco Coconut Water—purchased from local bodegas—to 5,000 healthcare workers at six hospitals across New York City.
Mother New York did its own Dear Bodega campaign that also just rolled out recently. See some of those posters below, and at the website DearBodega.com.