Activation Gallery: Summer Promotions


Beating the heat, preventing sunburn, barbequing and the Summer Olympics (every four years) are omnipresent messages at retail for the manufacturers and retailers of summer-related products. This year was no different, especially since the activity from Olympic sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble appeared a year later than originally planned, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Summer marketing messages appeared both online and in stores, starting back in May and continuing through August. Here’s a sampling of what Path to Purchase IQ editors found as they monitored activity at retail in various channels, including grocery, mass and drug. Path to Purchase Institute members can see many more summer-related activations in the image vault at

a store inside of a train station

PepsiCo activated its national summertime campaign in Amazon and Walmart stores using its “Let’s Summer” rallying call and touting the availability of “awesome” prizes. At the new Amazon Fresh location in Bellevue, Washington, a TV screen hanging from the ceiling depicted the campaign creative with a pool theme. In Walmart’s beverage aisle, shelf strips instead employed a backyard theme and invited shoppers to scan a depicted QR code for summer activities.

a group of people on a stage

Beam Suntory’s Jim Beam tied in to baseball season with a pallet display at Meijer stocking its liquor SKUs around a large baseball atop a wooden bat. A sign affixed to the display encouraged shoppers to enter the brand’s “Highball at Home” sweepstakes, which awarded prizes such as a sparkling water machine from PepsiCo’s SodaStream, “highball” mugs and ice trays.

a store filled with lots of food

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay enjoyed secondary merchandising space this summer at Meijer via a spectacular positioned along the store’s action alley. The display featured elaborate headers depicting Cheetos, Lay’s and Doritos chip bags bookended by splashes of water under a “Let’s Summer - More Fun to Share” message. Multiple QR codes depicted on the display directed shoppers to a promotional site to enter to win “awesome prizes,” such as a home theater projector and pop-up cinema screen, folding chairs or a branded cornhole board set.

graphical user interface, text

Walmart tied in to the summertime observance of Pride Month with a dedicated shop giving the spotlight to three featured brands — Mars Inc.’s Skittles, PepsiCo’s Bubly and Kellogg Co.’s Kellogg’s — while touting their respective cause efforts benefitting the LGBTQ+ community. In stores, Skittles limited-edition Pride packs were merchandised with a scannable code linking to a Walmart-exclusive augmented reality experience, and some locations hosted related retailtainment events. The activity included a Walmart Radio interview, social media activity and targeted display/search media.

graphical user interface, website
graphical user interface, calendar

Procter & Gamble’s Gillette Venus enjoyed secondary merchandising space via endcaps at Meijer activating the manufacturer’s U.S. Olympic sponsorship during the Summer Olympics. The display depicted a surfboard while spotlighting professional surfer Carissa Moore, positioning her as a U.S. Olympic “hopeful” (now gold medalist).


Albertsons Companies celebrated its private-label sparkling water brand Soleil by rolling out special packaging designs from global visual artists, three Spotify music playlists and four new flavors — mango, raspberry lime, tangerine and watermelon — to go with an omnichannel campaign dubbed “Sip to the Beat.” The new packaging enabled shoppers to unlock one of three Spotify music playlists curated for summer parties.

a stack of flyers on a table

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sponsor Coca-Cola Co. tied in to the Summer Olympics with spectaculars at Meijer. The displays included corrugate signs depicting multiple Coke 20-ounce bottles, the U.S. flag and a bottle cap employing a “summer tastes better with Coca-Cola” message. Pole toppers also depicted four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Simone Manuel and two-time U.S. Paralympic gold medalist Roderick Townsend below a “victory tastes better with Coke” message.

a stack of flyers on a table

Unilever’s Hellmann’s deployed an eye-catching spectacular at Southeastern Grocers’ Harveys, tying in to grilling season and positioning the brand’s mayonnaise as an essential condiment for barbecues. The execution comprised two branded floorstands sandwiching a pallet display that depicted four steps to making Hellmann’s parmesan-crusted chicken and directed shoppers to for recipes. In addition, a branded floor cling next to an unboxed grill encouraged shoppers to “Make it your own kind of BBQ.”


E. & J. Gallo Winery’s Barefoot enjoyed secondary merchandising space at Meijer via pallet displays outfitted with headers inviting shoppers to enter to win a smoker grill. The header depicted a QR code directing shoppers to a page within inviting shoppers to enter the sweeps, which runs from May 1 through Sept. 12.


Sam’s Club hosted themed digital activity from Mars Inc. to promote “sweets that beat the heat” and kick off the summer season. Tying in to the manufacturer’s national summer program, various ads communicated messages like “Never stop summering” and linked to a themed custom brand showcase highlighting select candy from the manufacturer and serving up ways to engage and inspire shoppers.

a group of colorful blocks

H-E-B united private-label and national-brand suncare SKUs on a dedicated gondola promising “Sun care for every Texsun.” Colorful, summer-themed signage exclusively spotlighted H-E-B’s private-label SKUs, with one side panel communicating “suncare tips” such as “reapply every two hours” and “apply teaspoon-sized dollop to face, neck and ears.” Sun care products from Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena, SC Johnson’s Sun Bum and other national brands were also merchandised on the display.