Design of the Times Preview

The Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Design of the Times competition celebrates best-in-class shopper-facing marketing & merchandising, recognizing the crucial role retail activation plays in any successful shopper marketing initiative. On Oct. 7, the winners of the first-ever “all virtual” Design of the Times awards program will be announced. From the 26 finalists listed below, nine Platinum honorees and one Best of the Times winner will be selected. For more information, visit Additionally, on the following pages we present a sampling of select entries from this year’s competition. Institute members can view case studies from all the entries on


Best Brand Building Program

  • International Paper Retail Packaging and Display — Dr Pepper Sweet Rewards Beverage Center
  • International Paper Retail Packaging and Display — 2018 Budweiser Prohibition Holiday Program
  • WestRock — Gleem Pallet Display

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

  • Eastwest Marketing Group/Pratt Industries — 2019 Nabisco Share Your Joy With Us Holiday Display
  • Imageworks Display/Energizer Brands — Kroger Battery Center
  • International Paper Retail Packaging and Display — Revlon Colorstay Full Pallet

Best Collaborative Program (Retailer-Manufacturer)

  • Trans World Marketing — PING Fitting Cart
  • WestRock — Coca-Cola Gingerbread Brand Wall

Best Merchandising Solution

  • Menasha — Trident Vibes Launch Family
  • Peachtree Packaging and Display — Black Box Coffin
  • WestRock — Native Bathtub Endcap

Best New Product Introduction

  • Design Phase Inc. — LG Meijer TV Wall
  • Imageworks Display — Optimum Motion Sign
  • International Paper Retail Packaging and Display — Walmart Hatchimals Pixies Drop-In Endcap

Best Sales-Driving Solution

  • HMT Associates, Inc. — Baker's Deliciously Indulgent, Delightfully Simple Holiday Cooler
  • International Paper Retail Packaging and Display — 2019 Hershey Halloween Archway
  • Saatchi & Saatchi X/Spin Master — Walmart Monster Jam Launch Dump Bin
  • Trans World Marketing — Dr. Scholl's Custom Fit Orthotics

Best Shopper Education Program

  • Design Phase Inc. — LG ThinQ Interactive Floor and Counter Kiosks
  • Trans World Marketing — Custom Golf Fitting Experience

Best Shopper Experience Program

  • Design Phase Inc. — LG Best Buy NanoCell/Soundbar Endcap
  • Great Northern Instore — Mattel-Fisher Price Rescue Hero Photo Op Walmart Pallet
  • WestRock — Coke 4x4 Iconic Endcap

Best Shopping Solution

  • Great Northern Instore — Kroger Back to Campus Pallet
  • Great Northern Instore — Kellogg's 2x4 Grab-and-Go Display
  • WestRock/Colgate-Palmolive — Colgate Target Optic White Advanced Endcap

Path to Purchase Institute members can view a gallery of all the 2020 Design of the Times entrants at


Chips Ahoy! ‘Gears 5’ Display

Client: Mondelez International

Product(s) Promoted: Chips Ahoy!

Distribution: Supermarket/Grocery Stores

Award Category: Best Collaborative Program (Cross-Brand or Cross-Manufacturer)

Activation Partner: Eastwest Marketing Group

Note: The co-branded display leveraged the hugely impactful Xbox and “Gears 5” assets to align the Chip Ahoy! brand with target gamers. Using one of the main characters from the game, the display provided immediate stopping power. These gamers were further incentivized by packaging that contained codes redeemable for exclusive in-game content.


LG Sam’s Club 55” OLED Display

Client: LG Electronics USA

Product(s) Promoted: OLED Display

Distribution: Club/Warehouse

Award Category: Best Brand Building Program

Activation Partner: Outform

Note: The display was developed to capture attention in a crowded retail environment and stand out from the competition. From there, messaging and creative were crafted to position LG OLED as a premium brand and premium television, and clearly, succinctly message OLED features in a small space.

Garmin Force Trolling Motor Display

Client: Garmin

Product(s) Promoted: Force Trolling Motor

Distribution: Sporting Goods and Marine Retailers

Award Category: Best New Product Introduction

Activation Partner: Meyers

Note: The display’s shape and two-sided messaging help consumers understand the features and benefits of this new product. In-store interviews with sporting and marine retailer personnel during the engineering phase helped create streamlined assembly procedures.

Kinetic Sand Walmart Endcap Display

Client: Spin Master Ltd.

Product(s) Promoted: Kinetic Sand Box Sets and 2-pound bags

Distribution: Walmart

Award Category: Best Shopper Education Program

Activation Partner: Saatchi & Saatchi X

Note: The client needed a display that would showcase multiple Kinetic Sand products while also providing shoppers the crucial brand/product education they needed. It also needed a display that could accommodate the weight of these heavier sand-based products.

‘Bumblebee’ Pallet Display

Client: Universal Studios

Product(s) Promoted: Licensed Products

Distribution: Mass Merchants

Award Category: Best Merchandising Solution

Activation Partner: Bay Cities Packaging
& Design

Note: The displays built excitement and awareness around the theatrical release of the “Bumblebee” movie while also increasing toys and merchandise sales. Driving engagement and increasing foot traffic, the character display invited shoppers to take photos and share on social media with relevant hashtags.

Mountain Dew ‘DewNITED 180’ Floorstand

Client: PepsiCo

Product(s) Promoted:  20-ounce PET Collectible Bottles (with specific state graphics) of Mountain Dew

Distribution: Supermarkets/Grocery Stores

Award Category: Best Shopping Solution

Activation Partner: Great Northern Instore

Note: The main challenge was to develop a structure that would accommodate all of the state SKUs while not sacrificing shoppability and product visibility. The imagery and the $100 offer immediately connected and resonated with shoppers.

Aspercreme Essential Oils Scented Puffer Display

Client: Sanofi

Product(s) Promoted: Aspercreme Essential Oils, Icy Hot Lidocaine Patch & Dry Spray

Distribution: CVS Pharmacy

Award Category: Best Shopper Experience Program

Activation Partner: In-house

Note: Sanofi’s sales and marketing teams worked with with News America Marketing in a collaborative effort. Shoppers were able to smell the product right from the display puffer.

Game of Thrones Cosmetic Display

Client: L’Oreal

Product(s) Promoted: Urban Decay Game of Thrones Cosmetics

Distribution: Ulta nationwide

Award Category: Best Merchandising Solution

Activation Partner: Quad

Note: The client sought a display that would encourage shoppers and cosmetics enthusiasts to create various looks. The structural design team created a prototype based off the client’s concept. The units were hand-assembled, packed, kitted and distributed to seven different retailers.

Pfizer Emergen-C 7-Eleven Floorstand

Client: Pfizer

Product(s) Promoted: Emergen-C Everyday Immune Support Powder and Nutrient Shots

Distribution: Convenience Stores

Award Category: Best Shopping Solution

Activation Partner: WestRock

Note: The unique floorstand replicated the bottle shape of the Emergen-C Shots product. The display was designed to be both appealing to the eye as well as cost-effective.

Reign Floorstand

Client: Reign/Williams Lea Tag

Product(s) Promoted: Reign Total Body Fuel Energy Drink

Distribution: Supermarkets/Grocery Stores

Award Category: Best New Product Introduction

Activation Partner: Menasha

Note: The eye-catching display, created for the launch of Monster’s Reign Total Body Fuel energy drink, emphasized the product’s logo. The display manufacturer ensured simple assembly while coming in under budget.

LG Electronics Gram Pallet

Client: LG Electronics

Product(s) Promoted:  LG Gram Laptop Computer

Distribution: Costco

Award Category: Best Sales-Driving Solution

Activation Partner: DS Smith

Note: LG Electronics wanted a creative, eye-catching pallet display that would capture shopper attention for the launch of its Gram Laptop. With its mass area of graphic information and the working demo laptop prominently displayed on the top surface, this display commanded attention in a highly competitive area.

GSK Walmart ‘Oral Health Condition’ Endcap

Client: GSK

Product(s) Promoted:  Sensodyne, Pronamel & Parodontax Specialty Toothpastes

Distribution: Walmart

Award Category: Best Collaborative Program (Retailer-Manufacturer)

Activation Partner: Packaging Corporation of America

Note: This sales-driving solution delivered on Walmart’s health and wellness strategy of bringing access and education to shoppers, helped shoppers select the right specialty toothpaste for their condition/need, and achieved category growth and profit by trading them up to more profitable brands.