Activation Gallery: Micro-Holidays

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Activation Gallery: Micro-Holidays

By Path to Purchase Institute Staff - 12/14/2020

You surely aren’t going to find “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” on the promotional calendar of any retailer, and probably not “National Popcorn Day” nor “World Vegan Day” either. Yet brands and retailers are leveraging these micro-holidays in stores and beyond. On the following pages, we present just a sampling of the activity noticed by the Path to Purchase Institute’s editors. Institute members can see many more examples of micro-holiday activations in the image vault at


Ahead of the Sept. 29 observance of “National Coffee Day,” Kraft Heinz ran ads on Walmart’s home page inviting consumers to “brew your favorites at a great value.” The ads alternatively ran on the leaderboard carousel and below the fold. Depicting brands Maxwell House, Gevalia and Ethical Bean Coffee, the ads included a “shop now” button linking to a “Brew the best” showcase grouping SKUs from the brands. Then, on the “holiday,” J.M. Smucker Co.’s Folgers spotlighted its 1850 coffee brand with ads running on both the home page leaderboard carousel and above-the-fold banner slots.

Glanbia’s Think tied in to Oct. 28’s designation as “National Chocolate Day” by deploying a missive to the brand’s email subscribers that promised 15% off Think “chocolate fudge,” “brownie crunch” and “chocolate mint (vegan)” protein bars.

The Coca-Cola Co. used an Oct. 29 email blast to encourage consumers to “give [themselves] a boost” because “2020 is getting even longer this weekend with Daylight Saving Time.” The email promised a free can of Coke Energy on Oct. 30 at participating convenience stores, including Speedway, Circle K, Casey’s, Kum & Go, Holiday and Kwik Trip. Shoppers could claim the freebie within a retailer’s mobile app. A “Set Reminder” button enabled consumers to add a reminder to Google Calendar that Daylight Saving Time was ending Nov. 1.

MacAndrews & Forbes’ Revlon celebrated “National Lipstick Month” on a floorstand spotted at Kroger in October.

Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies tied in to “National Diaper Awareness Week,” observed Sept. 21-27, by pledging to donate a case of diapers (up to 5 million diapers) to a struggling family through nonprofit National Diaper Bank Network for every promotional package purchased at Walmart during September. Support included a “Buy a Pack, Give a Pack” aisle violator in stores, social media activity from Huggies, and a home page carousel ad that linked to a dedicated e-commerce page corralling various Huggies SKUs.

In its July 28 circular, CVS Pharmacy celebrated the designation of July 29 as “National Lipstick Day” by highlighting relevant products from Coty’s CoverGirl, L’Oreal USA’s Maybelline and MacAndrews & Forbes’ Revlon and Almay. Multiple features dangled ExtraBucks rewards with select cosmetics purchases and additionally plugged two “Mystery Offers” for Almay and L’Oreal SKUs available via in-store ExtraCare Coupon Centers.

Hallmark Cards’ Crayola tied in to the observance of “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” on Sept. 19 by sending consumers who have registered for the brand’s emails a treasure map containing links to a free themed coloring page, a sea creature craft, sea-themed coloring books for purchase on the brand’s website, and a code for $5 off a $25 order. The missive promised free shipping on orders of at least $50.

Utz Snacks leveraged “National Popcorn Day” on Jan. 19 by dangling a promo code for 50% off the brand’s “entire popcorn collection.” A concurrent Twitter update linked to a web page within showcasing various popcorn SKUs.

Select Kroger chains tied in to “World Vegan Day” on Nov. 1 with a half-page feature in their Oct. 28 circulars that spotlighted deals on various plant-based grocery items. Featured brands included Beyond Burger’s flagship, General Mills’ Larabar and Kroger private label Simple Truth.

On the Oct. 11 observance of “International Day of the Girl,” Walmart used a Twitter update to plug feminine care brand Lola’s pledge to donate a full box of pads to those in need for every two boxes of Lola “minis” sold in stores or online from Oct. 10 through Nov. 10. The post linked to a “Give back with Lola” e-commerce page within spotlighting eligible packs of eight- and 16-count packs of tampons, six-count packs of pads, and 14-count packs of liners. As an extension of the custom boxes the brand offers via its DTC website, Lola created the smaller packs exclusively for Walmart when making its retail debut at the mass merchant earlier this year.

Southeastern Grocers’ Winn-Dixie tied in to the Sept. 5 observance of “National Cheese Pizza Day” to highlight product from both the SE Grocers store brand and complementary national brands, including Molson Coors Beverage Co.’s Miller Lite and Tyson Foods’ Aidells. Two features in the grocer’s September in-store circular (that is also available digitally) spotlighted a recipe for beer crust pizza incorporating the products.

Best Buy offered shoppers 20% to 35% off select “Star Wars” movies as its “Deal of the Day” on May 4 in celebration of “Star Wars Day.” The holiday brings attention to the franchise currently owned by Walt Disney Co. In addition to the Deal of the Day, Best Buy invited shoppers to “save on select Star Wars titles” and “celebrate Star Wars Day with savings” using a home page placement under “Featured Items” and plugging the saga in the “Top Deals” section that presents weekly deals. Both calls to action linked to a dedicated e-commerce page listing Star Wars movie titles.

CVS Pharmacy has tied in to the designation of June 1 as “National Nail Polish Day” over the last few years by giving brands in the category prime merchandising space in stores and offering ExtraBucks rewards and discounts on related product. This year, a “Celebrate National Nail Polish Day” floorstand from Coty Inc.’s Sally Hansen was positioned near entrances at some stores. CVS also leveraged the occasion to subtly reintroduce an exclusive loyalty program from L’Oreal USA’s Essie that rewards bulk nail polish purchases – first under the name “Obsessie” in 2018 and now under the name “All Access” – in its May 31 circular.