2020 Design of the Times Winners - Summaries

The Dr. Scholl’s Custom Orthotics interactive kiosk won the Best of the Times award in the Path to Purchase Institute's 2020 Design of the Times competition.

The Dr. Scholl's kiosk from Trans World Marketing was the winner in the "Best Sales-Driving Solution" category.

The eight other winners in this year's competition are profiled below.

Best Shopper Experience Program

Coke 4x4 Iconic Endcap

Producer: WestRock

Client: Coca-Cola

Retail Channel: Supermarket/Grocery Stores

Coca-Cola Co. is focused on engaging shoppers with beverage and food solutions that drive category sales and total store sales growth. For this design, WestRock used lighting and strong graphic elements to create a “solution destination” in the form of a refrigerated permanent endcap.

The header includes a light box with a curved rim that features colorful photography and Coca-Cola’s “Enjoy” tagline. Backlit shelves highlight Coca-Cola products in their surrounding environment, while the graphic elements – including the oversized classic Coca-Cola bottle – create a look that stood out among other beverage endcaps. “It is eye-catching and engaging, paired with the unexpected,” noted one DOT judge.

Digital technology was employed to further enhance the shopper experience. WestRock worked with Coca-Cola and its technology partners to develop a touchscreen to integrate into the permanent fixture. The interactive feature invites shoppers to explore meal recipe options that they could prepare for during their visit to the store. By scanning a QR code, shoppers could download a meal recipe list directly to their phones. That added value to the program and drew more shoppers into beverage aisles. As another judge observed, “The branding couldn’t be more evident, and the ability to interact with the touchscreen display is fun for the consumer and helps close the sale for other products in the store.”

The endcap delivered on its objectives for driving sales and shopper engagement. Initial results showed up to a 14% increase in category sales, with an average dwell time of 42.9 seconds. Additionally, the integrated platform and management system interface informed future marketing opportunities by generating data and insights into consumer shopping habits.

Best Shopping Solution

Colgate Optic White Advanced Target Endcap

Producer: WestRock

Client: Colgate-Palmolive

Retail Channel: Mass Merchants

WestRock and Colgate developed this endcap for Target stores to support the relaunch of the brand’s Optic White toothpaste brand. The display needed to educate shoppers on the tiers of whitening products available while also driving regimen purchases in the ever-growing oral care category. The Optic White brand’s focus on beauty, in addition to health and wellness, lent itself to a simple and bold design for the coveted Target endcap space.

Adorned almost entirely in Target and Colgate’s mutual color of red with contrast provided by the brand’s white lettering, the freestanding endcap keeps the focus on Optic White Advanced products in order to maintain one consistent message and price point for the full Optic regimen. The unit’s corrugate construction is 100% recyclable, which is another important attribute for both Colgate and Target.

“The flood of red is commanding and will be strong for shopper engagement,” said one judge. “The oversized tube of toothpaste conveys the category and brand quickly. The headline is simple and direct – providing an emotional connection to the shopper benefit.” Another judge added, “The color contrast of the red background and white lettering stand out nicely. ... Each section conveys its own information [while clearly] telling consumers what [the brand’s] purpose is.”

The program met its financial KPIs for a new item launch. Strong distribution, prominent placement in-store and quick sell-through were achieved throughout the activation period, per Colgate. The endcap highlighted and elevated the Optic White relaunch, commanding attention for the various products. It educated consumers on the whitening power of 2% hydrogen peroxide and drove oral care purchases by meeting the needs of today’s health-conscious shoppers.

Best Brand Building Program

Dr Pepper Sweet Rewards Beverage Center

Producer: International Paper Retail Packaging and Display

Client: Keurig Dr Pepper

Retail Channel: Mass Merchants

Dr Pepper’s consumers take work and play very seriously. When their work is done, they look forward to earning a “sweet reward,” as illustrated in the brand’s humorous TV commercials starring musician Justin Guarini as the fictional character Lil’ Sweet. Thus, an engaging “destination beverage center” was deemed the design solution to leverage the visual elements of the Dr Pepper brand while supporting the “It’s The Sweet One” promotion and extended ad campaign.

The main challenge was to create a display capable of showcasing many different product package sizes and configurations. The floor display, with its bold imagery, draws shoppers’ attention to unique towers of product presented on floating cantilevered shelves. “The display commands attention with its distinct Dr Pepper colors and the life-like image of [Lil’ Sweet]. Instantly recognizable,” noted one judge.

An unobstructed design allowed for high visibility, while the patented, cantilevered structure safely supported heavy products. The unit was constructed solely of recyclable corrugate without use of any plastic or metal components.Shelves were shipped pre-assembled, and the careful engineering enabled in-store assembly in less than five minutes.

While only in-market for a short time, the display resulted in sales velocity of 17% to 25% at participating stores and shopper interest far above that experienced with other recent programs. With the Lil’ Sweet tie-in, the display brought the edgy, fun element that is a hallmark of a Dr Pepper fan. “The Dr Pepper branding is strong, specifically delivered via the packaging,” said another judge. “The [Lil’ Sweet] character, which ties to their 360-[degree] campaign, delivers on the integration and multi-touchpoint shopper experience.”

Best Shopper Education Program

LG ThinQ Interactive Floor and Counter Kiosks

Producer: Design Phase

Client: LG Electronics

Retail Channel: Consumer Electronics Stores

To educate consumers on LG’s line of connected products, called ThinQ, Design Phase needed to build an interactive kiosk as both a floor display and a counter unit to serve in different retail spaces. The concept involved using Alexa and Google smart home devices to explain how the products can make a consumer’s life easier, incorporating content that highlights LG TVs, soundbars, refrigerators, washing machines and phones.

The display’s sleek design mirrors that of the LG brand. The look is “very recognizable [and] communicates connectivity easily,” noted one judge. “LG is consistent with back-lighting of the logo, which gives the brand a premium presence,” said another judge. “It’s simple. The video does most of the heavy lifting in educating the consumer about the product.”

The nucleus of the display is a 21.5-inch touchscreen monitor connected to Alexa and Google devices that allows shoppers to learn about each LG product by touching the appropriate category: home electronics, home appliance or phone. Some touchpoints activated the Google and Alexa devices to show how they would communicate with the LG product. Sheet metal, wood and plastic were all used to create the floor display’s small footprint, which enabled it to be positioned on the floor by appliances or TVs. The countertop unit was also developed to sit on a shelf alongside LG appliances.

The program’s success was measured less by product sales and more by its ability to tell the story of LG’s smart products. The LG logo at the top of both displays instantly lets the shopper know that this a branded experience, and the integration of Alexa and Google reminds them that LG product is compatible with both platforms. Ultimately, the interactive displays were able not only to engage shoppers but to convince them that buying an LG product will make their lives easier – and even fun.

Best Collaborative Program (Retailer-Manufacturer)

Ping Fitting Cart

Producer: Trans World Marketing

Client: Ping

Retail Channel: Specialty

Trans World worked with golf equipment manufacturer Ping to develop a multi-function fixture solution that could transition from an in-store display to a mobile fitting cart used across various retail formats. Those channels ranged from chain stores to driving ranges and pro shops to mobile event marketing experiences. The unit needed to be compact and easy to use, able to be transported and shipped in a standard-size UPS box. Durability, effective branding, flexible product assortment and modularity were key requirements.

The initial concepts were narrowed into a working foamcore model that included space for all necessary fitting tools, a retractable cover for durability and a retractable graphic to accomodate amounts of equipment. The finished design has a fitting system with complementary components to hold additional shafts and heads. Modular components allow the fixture to be used as both an in-store and mobile solution. As one judge noted, “Engineering that allows for execution in both in-store and outdoor environments is impressive, along with communication that can drive a self-guided shop.”

Per Trans World, positive response to the engagement and usability features of the display led to the production of more than 3,000 units shipped throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The Ping fitting cart commands attention at retail with its unique presentation of shafts and club heads, prominent and recognizable branding and flexible components that create a miniature “shop-in-shop” environment. Color schemes and textures were chosen to reflect the brand’s premium attributes. “Although this display isn’t huge, its use of bright colors and Ping branding commands attention across the room,” said another judge. “A lot of information is provided on this display, making it easy for the consumer to select the right club.”

The program achieved its goal of bringing the high-end fitting experience to shoppers across multiple channels while communicating the brand message that Ping offers the most time-tested and precise custom-fitting process in golf. This “craftsman’s” approach to the fitting experience connects with shoppers looking for custom fit golf clubs. Strong visuals, premium materials, bold graphics and the flexibility to convert to a shop-in-shop environment make this solution an effective tool for the fitting professional to close the sale.

Best Collaborative Program (Cross-Brand or Cross-Manufacturer)

Revlon Colorstay Full Pallet

Producer: International Paper Retail Packaging and Display

Client: Revlon

Retail Channel: Mass Merchants

Revlon regularly seeks to establish Walmart as a destination for quality cosmetics at accessible prices. For this program, it needed to create a pallet display that would promote and cross-sell top performers in the Revlon Colorstay and Almay product lines, while leveraging an “Every Shade, Every Store, Every Day” message to highlight the breadth of skin tones available.

Revlon’s core shopper looks for convenience and quality cosmetics at accessible pricing. The pallet was designed to allow products to be oriented in usage groups for the Revlon or Almay brand with shade or tone information in order for shoppers to easily locate what they needed. The overall look was clean and bright, using primarily a white background along with color blocking and texture. “Because there seems to be something on each side that is different, it is very shoppable and provides what they set out to do – [create] a destination for quality cosmetics at competitive prices,” observed one judge.

The pallet’s unique “stacked boxes” emphasized a range of cosmetic colors to engage shoppers in busy Action Alley. Close-up product images showcased textures and messaging to provide a shopper tutorial, while the product layout accommodated five different price points on a single pallet. Messaging for each brand was conveyed through the distinct separations, with large graphic panels including price points and product information. “The display has shopper stopping power while also meeting the other criteria,” said another judge. “I appreciate how it encourages cross-sell across different cosmetic category segments.”

ROI was measured in terms of increased sales, exposure and remaining within budget. In the first week after rollout, sales exceeded expectations and Revlon reported that Walmart was pleased with the display’s easy set-up in store.

Best Merchandising Solution

Trident Vibes Launch Family

Producer: Menasha

Client: Mondelez International

Retail Channel: Convenience Stores

Menasha was charged with creating a family of displays for the launch of three fresh flavors of Trident Vibes gum: Ooh La Lemon, Spearmint Rush and Tropical Beat. It needed to design a tall, slender structure to ensure the display could easily be moved to various prominent places throughout grocery and convenience stores.

Trident was looking to increase engagement and awareness with on-the-go shoppers in key cohorts including Millennials, Hispanics and teens. The goal was to generate excitement over the journey of taste, texture and extra “pops” experienced with the new product format – gum cubes – for each featured product. Thus, the two displays (one floorstand, one counter) were designed to grab the attention of shoppers with vivid colors and the dimensional fruit-shaped lug-ons used to differentiate flavors against a black background, with contrast provided by the vibrant Trident Vibes logo.

“These displays feel energetic. They are eye-catching and easy to shop,” commented one judge. “The use of black as a background color works to showcase the variety of flavors in their respective rainbow color. The branding comes across well due to the large-sized header and the packaging.”

Both displays used premium four-color litho printing for consistency. Flexo-printed B flute corrugated and B flute trays, shelves and dividers added support. A seat base helped to stabilize the floorstand. The lightweight, slim-line floorstand and smaller counter unit allowed for placement versatility. Units arrived at retail assembled and packed-out, simplifying store execution and restocking.

Thanks to high in-store execution, along with the clean, energetic branding, the display family provided incremental sales lift and increased awareness of the new flavors. The displays significantly exceeded expectations for gross number of in-store executions and ACV (all-commodity volume) reached across all targeted channels.

Best New Product Introduction

Hatchimals Pixies Drop-in Walmart Endcap

Producer: International Paper Retail Packaging and Display

Client: Spin Master

Retail Channel: Mass Merchants

*Winner: People's Choice Award

Spin Master worked with International Paper on a display to generate brand awareness for the launch of the toy-maker’s new Hatchimals product line. The display needed to secure out-of-aisle placement and help educate shoppers on how to engage with the product, providing them with confidence in their purchases.

Spin Master’s team identified external trends to enhance the display’s relevancy, and International Paper included those ideas in its creative strategy. For example, the display features large 3-D wings that mimic the product and create a photo opportunity to share on social media. “The protruding wings certainly draw attention to this display. Branding is evident,” said one judge. “The listing of available Pixies on the side helps tell the story and could entice consumers to try to collect all of them. This display likely worked well getting the attention of 5- to 8-year-old girls.”

Judges praised the design’s “built-in” social program that can create instant word of mouth. “The color and composition aimed at young girls offered a chance for the parents to showcase their kid instantly,” said one judge. “The colors and design are on-brand and will not be missed by the shopper,” observed another.

The display utilized a combination of flexo and litho color printing on corrugated pieces to effectively entice impulse purchases. Meticulous structural engineering allowed for successful handling and shipping of the display throughout the supply chain, which helped the until deliver an 85% sell-through rate. The girls’ doll category is very competitive and Spin Master understood the need for prime retail space to introduce a new brand. Through the program, Hatchimals earned a significant sales lift while also engaging shoppers and creating a shareable social media experience that helped build brand equity outside the store.