Kroger abandoned its annual holiday "Cheer Challenge" social media campaign in 2017 in favor of expanding on the "25 Merry Days" program it launched in 2016.
The retailer began previewing the campaign on Nov. 2 with an email ad encouraging consumers to sign up for text or email alerts to inform them of each day's deals, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 24. In stores, standees and stanchion signs also encouraged shoppers to sign up for text alerts or visit the campaign website, which hosted tips, recipes and digital coupons for free or discounted SKUs from brands including Dr Pepper Snapple Group's Sunkist, Mars Inc.'s Life Savers, Hasbro's Nerf and private label Private Selection. Circular features, carousel ads on chain home pages, and Facebook and Twitter updates supported.
The 2017 campaign also incorporated a sweepstakes awarding one winner with free groceries for a year in the form of $2,500 worth of store gift cards. Consumers entered from Nov. 29 to Dec. 11 by responding to Facebook comments asking how they were using the deals to help them celebrate the holidays. Washington, D.C.-based iStrategyLabs handled.
Elsewhere in stores, Kroger grouped together air fresheners, pet products and baking needs from various brands on themed pallet displays and devoted space to seasonal floorstands for private labels Simple Truth, Private Selection and Holiday Traditions. Mars provided exclusive "ugly sweater" packages of Skittles and M&M's that were merchandised on pallet displays in the seasonal section. Standees, some equipped with take-one dispensers, promoted prepared foods while racks stocked third-party gift cards. Generic seasonal messages also appeared throughout the stores on endcaps, dump tables, shelf talkers, cooler headers and half-pallet displays. The seasonal marketing campaign also incorporated TV and radio spots, and run-of-press ads in newspapers including The Cincinnati Enquirer and Lexington Herald-Leader.