Campbell Soup Co. pooled its shopper marketing dollars with its media spend this holiday season, leveraging a sponsorship with Hallmark Channel parent company Crown Media to earn prime merchandising space in Walmart’s Action Alley.
The manufacturer’s “Joy Night-In” program encouraged shoppers to build a fun family activity around creating a meal incorporating Campbell’s SKUs and watching one of the new Hallmark Channel holiday movies that premiered this season – complete with Campbell’s product positioning – as part of the channel’s 10th annual “Countdown to Christmas” original movie schedule. The movies reach an audience of 68 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.
“In addition to classic holiday customs like indoor gatherings and families cooking together, ‘Countdown to Christmas’ has become a cherished seasonal tradition in its own right,” Ed Georger, executive vice president, advertising sales & digital media, Crown Media Family Networks, said in a media release. “Much like Hallmark Channel’s signature holiday movies, Campbell’s soup and recipes evoke the warmth and spirit of the season, making this partnership the perfect fit.”
At Walmart, Campbell’s products were stocked front-and-center on pallet trains outfitted with signage promoting the program. The retailer’s 1,400 participating stores also hosted Try It Now cooking demonstrations, distributed a custom, co-branded programming guide, and played movie previews plus “Hallmark Channel’s Homemade” videos on a loop via Walmart’s Vudu in-store TV network.
The programming guide was additionally included in Walmart.com order shipments delivered in the first two weeks of November. The booklet offered Hallmark’s “Countdown to Christmas” schedule, recipes incorporating Campbell’s products, and exclusive games. The last included “fun pages” that could be folded into an ornament as well as a watch-and-play Bingo game.
“Our Joy Night In partnership was built around the trend of JOMO, or the joy of missing out,” Marci Raible, VP, integrated marketing, Campbell Soup Co., said in the release. “By partnering with Hallmark and Walmart with a goal of positioning Campbell’s in a relevant and refreshing way, we’re able to fully integrate Campbell’s into the holiday experience by creating an innovative and impactful media-to-shelf program.”
Among Campbell’s 2019 holiday integrations:
• Actress Tamara Mowry-Housley was shown enjoying Campbell’s tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich in “A Christmas Miracle,” a film that premiered Nov. 14.
• Hallmark TV host Cameron Mathison made Campbell’s classic green bean casserole on the Nov. 22 episode of daily lifestyle program “Home & Family” as part of a cooking demonstration segment.
• Mathison was also depicted making the green bean casserole in “The Christmas Club,” a film that premiered on Nov. 27.
• A “Presented by Campbell’s Joy Night In” traditions vignette shared favorite holiday traditions and family moments.
Leading up to each integration, Campbell’s also staged “takeovers” of the respective film and program websites. The program’s extensive digital strategy additionally included a dedicated Joy Night In website, two YouTube videos highlighting the making of Campbell’s recipes, as well as a Facebook Live series and a social media influencer campaign.
The website (JoyNightIn.com) delivered recipes incorporating Campbell’s products complete with Walmart “add to cart” functionality, a downloadable seasonal cookbook, a “Countdown to Christmas” programming schedule and movie previews, as well as holiday tips.
Shoppers could also access the recipes via voice through integration with Google’s voice assistant. Saying “Hey Google, talk to Joy Night” triggered a message from Mathison, who delivered different recipe suggestions for movie nights with family, friends, significant others or solo affairs.
Another layer to the program was a sweepstakes staged in conjunction with media outlet PopSugar that awarded a grand-prize $2,500 Walmart gift card and 1,250 first-prize “Must Have” boxes intended to help create a cozy evening at home. Entry ran from Nov. 6 through Dec. 10.
An email blast sent to members of the PopSugar Must Have subscription community plugged the sweeps, while a Nov. 1 sponsored “Fun Things You Should be Doing While Watching Hallmark’s New Holiday Movies” post on the “Living” section of PopSugar’s website supported the overall program.