Campbell Snacks Campaign Targets ‘Homegaters’

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With the goal of uniting hungry sports fans with its classic snack brands, Campbell Soup Co.’s Campbell Snacks division has become an official partner of the Pac-12 collegiate athletic conference and the Pac-12 football championship.

In an environment of ongoing uncertainty, the program is designed to appeal both to tailgaters and to “homegaters” who are enjoying the game and entertaining at home. According to a June 2020 Harris Poll in partnership with Genesco Sports Marketing Agency, 76% of fans said they were interested in bringing the tailgate home.

Stephen Chriss, Campbell Snacks vice president of shopper and omnichannel marketing, also referred to a proprietary Campbell Snacks Big Game Study from 2020 that found that nearly one-quarter of shoppers reported that big game celebrations are all about the snacks. “We believe our Campbell Snacks products, led by Goldfish crackers, Kettle chips and Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels, should be the snack of choice for these occasions,” he says.

The target market for the campaign is any in-store or online shoppers who are purchasing snacks for tailgating, “homegating” or other related activities this fall. In addition to the three aforementioned brands, the campaign will also feature Cape Cod chips, Pepperidge Farm bakery items, Late July tortilla chips and Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps.

“It is key to our shopper and omnichannel marketing for our brands to be a part of the consumer cultural conversation,” Chriss says. “The Pac-12 provides us the opportunity to bring key retail partners, Kroger and Albertsons, a specific initiative that is relevant west of Colorado, leveraging the Pac-12 assets.” This effort will be part of a larger national campaign that includes 11 major retailers, including Ahold, Meijer, Publix, Target, Whole Foods, Amazon and Wakefern.

In western markets, the campaign will include a sweepstakes that gives fans a chance to win a trip to the Pac-12 championship game on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas. In other markets, the program will extend beyond the Pac-12 to give sweepstakes participants a chance to win a 2022 Chevy Silverado. The call to enter the sweepstakes will be featured on in-store displays that drive consumers to visit for a chance to win one of the grand prizes or 1,000 instant-win prizes.

“Our programming is customized by customer, with some consistent elements that will run nationally,” Chriss says. “We believe in leveraging the right vehicles/touchpoints versus a 360[-degree] program. It is about the right message at the right time to the right shopper.”

The program includes highly targeted “Game On” digital media placements featuring Campbell brands at Kroger and Albertsons, as well as Target, Whole Foods and other retailers. A Goldfish-specific football-themed advertising campaign will also be deployed across multiple consumer and shopper touchpoints to help amplify the in-store programming.

Displays for the campaign include a national lobby version featuring a “Game On” truck carrying Campbell Snacks products and a goal post held up by a wall of various Campbell Snacks brands. In western markets, the displays will focus on the Pac-12 partnership and giveaway with the Pac-12 logo between the goal posts. In other markets, the displays will focus on the Silverado sweepstakes and include an extra snack stand wrapped in football field print.

“Our in-store displays are one of our most critical elements,” Chriss says. “Our focus is to break through the in-store environment through engaging in-store theater that includes multiple points of interruption. We strive to engage a diverse shopper/consumer base in a bigger way that gets our shoppers to stop for a moment as they see our displays.”

Other supporting elements include product sampling, on-site and offsite digital retail media leveraging the in-store signage, and coupons.

The campaign launched on July 27 with social media posts, a news release and targeted media outreach. The in-store displays will be activated nationally in September and October, and the Pac-12 sweepstakes culminates on Dec. 3 with the Pac-12 football championship.

Success of the campaign will be gauged by metrics that include product sell-through, consumer engagement in the sweepstakes and giveaways, and consumer sentiment. Campbell Snacks worked with The Mars Agency on all the shopper elements of the campaign.