Most-read of 2021: Shopper Marketing Report

From new products to new ways to use promo spend, the stories SMR readers were most interested in this year.
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Clorox helps the on-the-go consumer clean up

Anticipating consumer need and new behaviours, big CPG and household companies have made big investments into cleaning and sanitizing products since the pandemic began. And at the beginning of the year, Clorox undertook one of the biggest product launches in its recent history with its new On-The-Go wipes.

The idea was to make wipes as ubiquitous as hand sanitizer, using the trust they already had in the Clorox brand to have the confidence to begin expanding their personal bubbles. It was backed by a media plan that prioritized shopper elements to capture interest at any point someone may be thinking about their disinfecting needs, integrated with social, audio and OOH ads.

Sobeys grows excitement for produce with in-store farms

In 2020, Empire quietly piloted a handful of InFarm units in Thrifty and Safeway stores. The hydroponic farming equipment grew fresh herbs and leafy greens right in the produce section, effectively turning displays into in-store farms.

This spring, the units were brought to 50 more stores, including the flagship Sobeys banner. The roll-out was greenlit because it allowed the grocer to capitalize on several consumer trends at once. Not only did it bring excitement to a shopping experience that had become stressful during the pandemic, it also reached the growing number of shoppers who were both getting more adventurous with their cooking, and who wanted to know exactly where their fresh ingredients were sourced from.

General Mills brings back its colour-changing spoons

Millennial nostalgia was certainly part of the reason General Mills re-introduced its colour-changing spoons this year, a classic prize inside promotion with collectables that changed colours when dipped in milk.

But it was also part of a strategy to do something different with its promo strategy. The company – which also gave away Fit Bit devices and subscriptions to its Premium fitness subscription service this year – has been deploying spending as something that not only provides added value to its customers, but also fun, be it by connecting to passions like fitness or providing moments of levity around the family breakfast table.

Unilever names LPi Group its shopper and in-store AOR

“Unexpected but exciting” was how LPi president Craig Lindsay described his agency winning a newly consolidated shopper and in-store marketing assignment from Unilever.

The CPG giant had previously split its work in Canada between WPP’s Barrows (in-store) and Geometry (shopper marketing), but the multi-agency review resulted in the independent integrating both sets of work across more than 30 brands. The assignment began with in-store displays promoting a partnership between the company’s Axe brand and the Toronto Raptors, followed by work for the Lifebuoy soap brand.

Will Mondelez’ mystery Sour Patch Kids hit the sweet spot?

This summer, shoppers saw the Sour Patch Kids mascot decked out in an old timey detective fedora and a magnifying glass, a look befitting a brand launching a new mystery flavour. Across in-store and social channels, the Mondelez brand released new clues that shoppers were encouraged to hunt for in order to figure out what its mystery flavour was. Correct deductions earned them a spot in a draw to win $25,000.

The idea was to provide ongoing engagement over the warmer months – a period that, despite continued pandemic restrictions, continues to be among the most important periods in confectionery. April to June represents 30% of category sales, brand manager Sylvia Gurliaccio told strategy, and unlike the major holiday occasions, is a longer, more extended period that required creating a reason for customers to interact with the brand again and again.