Symbol group Nisa-Today is to embark on its first TV advertising campaign as it guns to build its brand profile with consumers and sign up new retailer members.

The £1.3m national TV campaign breaks on December 27 and runs until February 6. It aims to improve customer perception of Nisa-Today, show product quality and promotions and reinforce its strapline ‘Making a difference locally’, which aims to highlight that its charity helps fund local projects.

Group symbol director John Heagney said Nisa-Today had wanted to start advertising nationally when the group reached critical mass. It currently has 800 stores under the Nisa fascia.

He said Nisa wanted to go on air after Christmas “when the multiples ease off their advertising” and “shoppers are maxed out and weary of larger stores so want to do their food shopping closer to home”.

He said the ad aimed to be fun, show the value message, and highlight that its convenience stores have the same modern retailing standards as the big grocers.

This year Nisa-Today attracted 189 new retailer members, and it wants to attract more than 200 next year with the ad campaign.

Chief executive Neil Turton said that the most common reason retailers stated for joining other symbol groups was Nisa not advertising on TV.

He added “now there is no reason why we aren’t the first choice for independent retailers”.

Turton said he hoped to attract new members from a range of locations including forecourts, garden centres and holiday parks.

He said Nisa-Today would hit £1.5bn sales this year, and hoped next year to top £1.6bn, with like-for-likes estimated to be up about 3% which was “above or on a par with the big food retailers”.

Earlier this year, Nisa-Today increased its mystery shopper visits so “stores could ensure their standards were up to scratch”.

The ad was filmed at a new Nisa store in Stockton-on-Tees and was created by 3Sixteen.

Nisa-Today comprises 3,500 stores, including 800 under the Nisa fascia and 1,500 under Costcutter. The remainder trade under individual names.