CPGs promote in store ahead of the Big Game

Frank's RedHot and Mars Wrigley are been promoting their brands' association with the NFL this season through contests and kegs.


Mars Wrigley and McCormick and Co. have added shopper marketing campaigns to their Super Bowl roster.

Mars Wrigley, which just announced a partnership with the NFL Canada, launched an associated contest that is currently being supported digitally and in-store.

The confectionery brand gave Canadian NFL fans the opportunity to enter for a chance to win prizes that include two tickets to the 2020 Super Bowl LIV in Miami with flight and accommodations. In addition, Mars Wrigley is hosting weekly giveaways featuring NFL merchandise during the lead-up to the big game until January 31, 2020.

MAR01_19110632_ MWC x NFL_Helmet Counter Display2


The contest is being supported in-store with football-themed pre-pack floor stands (multiple versions), shelf blades, wobblers, standees, totems, header cards, base wraps and counter units (see above), according to Barbara Cooper, marketing director at Mars Wrigley Canada, who adds that “treating [consumers] and snacking is at the heart of what we do.” According to Cooper, the brand’s partnership with the NFL, which it announced in December, lets it connect with football fans throughout the season, leading up to one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the Super Bowl.

big-game-mars2“We know fans of our brands also happen to love watching NFL and the Super Bowl, so we want to be sure we’re with them every step of the way,” says Cooper. “With that in mind, we’re not targeting a different demo, we’re just joining football fans, as well as their friends and families when they sit down to watch the games this season.”

Cooper says the purchase of a Skittles, M&Ms and Snickers product from any retailer in Canada is eligible for entry, with consumers asked to upload their receipt to the contest site. Match supported in the development of the overall campaign and consumer shopper journey, inclusive of the Snack Season contest, plus in-store, digital and social creative. Mediacom supported in the overall partnership with NFL Canada as the relationship manager in Canada. This included coordinating assets to see the program come to life in store, across social and digital, etc.

Mars Wrigley has been working with different sports outside of football. Using the Snickers brand “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” tagline, Mars Wrigley hooked up then-Raptor Delon Wright with an ill-fitting suit as a way to engage with hoops fans. It also transformed its Snickers bars to “hater” bars to address the Raps’ Doubting Thomas fanbase.

Stateside, Snickers is the official chocolate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals, and the confectionery brand was recently announced as the official chocolate of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The brand also recently partnered with FanFood, a concessions management and mobile ordering platform at sports and live entertainment venues. With FanFood, it drove M&Ms, Snickers and Skittles sales at a North Carolina athletic park.

As for McCormick, the company’s Frank’s RedHot brand has a partnership with NFL Canada, which was first announced in September. In the U.S., it ran a contest in the fall for consumers to win a tailgating truck decked out with “football tickets, a hot sauce fountain, a grill, essentials for Buffalo wings.” For the campaign, the brand positioned itself as the wingman that has fans back “in the most brag-worthy way.”

In Canada, the brand’s “Homegating” program, also inspired by the tailgating NFL phenomenon where people cook up snacks for hours before game time. The brand said in a release that NFL fans are more likely to purchase hot sauces than the average consumer.

Deborah Sharpe, marketing director for Canada at McCormick, says that while hot sauce is mainly a planned purchase, research shows that about one-third of the purchases are made on impulse. “This is even higher for light buyers,” Sharpe says. “Hence merchandising out of section near complementary products is also an important way to remind and inspire a purchase.”

She says that to support Super Bowl in store, Frank’s RedHot has merchandising vehicles such as floor displays and shelf racks that will be leveraged for out-of-section merchandising.

The brand recently launched a promotional component leading up to the Super Bowl, giving away hot sauce kegs for fans to use during games. To celebrate RedHot’s centenary, the brand gave away 100 hot sauce kegs, calling out the anniversary on its in-store display (“100 seasons of football, 100 years of Frank’s”). Shelf talkers feature the keg contest, and Frank’s RedHot signature recipes such as Buffalo wings and Buffalo chicken dip that consumers can take photos of and create at home.

For “Homegating,” the brand worked closely with retail partners to ensure extended shelf space via additional displays and inventory for the program.

McCormick’s recipe and product website, Helloflavour.ca, is being used to support the campaign, with the brand giving consumers access to seasoning and dip recipes using Frank’s RedHot. In addition, the brand has created Super Bowl-themed recipes and a game day itinerary. Supported through digital, the contest closed this past Sunday and the brand used its infamous expletive-filled  “Put that S#!t goes on everything!” in messaging to promote it.