Sam's Club Loads up on Back-to-School Promotions

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Sam's Club Loads up on Back-to-School Promotions

By Jacqueline Barba - 09/18/2018

Sam’s Club teamed with a bevy of manufacturers to run a series of promotions aimed at preparing school-bound families this season.

Kellogg Co.
The warehouse club is running its annual promotion with Scholastic and Kellogg Co. offering a free Scholastic book with purchase of a qualifying SKU in custom packaging from brands including Cheez-It, Keebler, Pop-Tarts and Eggo. From May 24 to Sept. 30 (two months longer than last year), Kellogg's Family Rewards members submit receipts to, which directs users to a page within the loyalty program's website. Credits must be redeemed by Dec. 18. As it did last year, Kellogg’s is pledging an additional book to a local school for every title redeemed.

Online support includes multiple email ads, as well as display ads and a dedicated e-commerce page for eligible SKUs boasting a “hungry for knowledge?” leaderboard ad. In-store support mirrors last year's activity with custom pallet displays and signage on Tastes & Tips sampling stations. The latter distributed free samples from Kellogg’s, Keebler, Cheez-It and Pop-Tarts beginning Aug. 1. This year, select Sam’s Club Freeosk kiosks also dispensed free Rice Krispy Treats mini-squares and Nutri-Grain bars from the manufacturer beginning Aug. 10 and Aug. 17, respectively. Sam’s Club also stocked specially packaged eligible SKUs from Pringles via a pallet display plugging the retailer's Mastercard at one San Antonio, TX, store.

Sam’s Club has also offered a slew of “Instant Savings” on participating products throughout the promotional period as well as free shipping on "back to school favorites” through Sept. 15 with purchase of select Kellogg's SKUs from brands including Pringles and Keebler. Multiple email ads as well as a carousel ad and display and top-of-page ads throughout supported the offer, linking to the aforementioned e-commerce page.

The retailer additionally tied in to Kellogg's March launch of its limited-edition unicorn cereal and Pop-Tarts by stocking the SKUs on brightly-colored pallet displays communicating a “Believe it! Unicorns are back for back to school” message in stores. Multiple email ads, display ads employing an "add magic to school days” message, and Aug. 29 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates supported.

General Mills
Sam’s Club additionally replicated the cause effort it ran last year with General Mills, activating the manufacturer's evergreen “Box Tops for Education” platform from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30 (two weeks longer than last year). Shoppers who purchase three eligible SKUs in exclusive packaging can submit their receipt to earn 100 bonus Box Tops credits for their school. Other details such as method of entry, in-store support and qualifying brands including General Mills’ Betty Crocker, Totino’s and Pillsbury, and SC Johnson’s Ziploc remained almost the same as last year with minor differences including display designs. For example, Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex participated again this year with another custom pallet display resembling a school bus, though dangling 18 Box Tops (versus last year’s 16) and stocking multi-pack SKUs wrapped in licensed packaging that also tied in to the June 15 premiere of Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

Within, multiple display ads, leaderboard ads, a dedicated e-commerce page, as well as multiple email ads plug the offer, while sponsored blog posts from social influencers such as lifestyle blogger Sarah Fortune (commissioned by General Mills and SC Johnson) round out support.

PepsiCo/Frito-Lay joined the seasonal activity at the warehouse club by incentivizing digital orders with a Sam’s Club eGift card – a promotion the warehouse club routinely replicates with different manufacturers (including Procter & Gamble). From July 25 to Aug. 31, the partners dangled $25 with purchase of $75 worth of participating SKUs from brands including Gatorade, Quaker and Doritos via for home delivery or Club Pickup, or made in-club using the Scan & Go mobile application. Display ads and a manufacturer e-commerce page within promoted the deal using a "save on back-to-class" message. Aug. 15 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates rounded out support. Additional activity from the manufacturer included “Pack a Gold Star Lunch” display ads running throughout that linked to a “lunch box favorites” e-commerce page showcasing five SKUs from Frito-Lay, Pure Leaf and Quaker. An Aug. 9 Instagram update supported.

Other Brands
Procter & Gamble also played a part in Sam’s Club’s BTS activity, offering a batch of “Instant Savings” on select SKUs from its Swiffer and Mr. Clean brands from Aug. 22 through Sept. 16. Display and top-of-page ads, as well as a “back to college savings” e-commerce page corralling eligible SKUs and a “find great offers on college essentials” leaderboard ad within supported. Concurrently, GOJO Industries' Purell also used a “Back to school. Back to germs” message and plugged “Instant Savings.” Themed in-store activity included pallet displays from manufacturers such as Bic Corp.

Retailer-Driven Activity
Retailer-driven back-to-school activity also aligned closely with that of the year prior, including a “Back-to-Class” e-commerce hub devoted to seasonal promotions and products, themed sampling events promoted via social media updates, and a July 14 free health screening event for college-bound students. Multiple email blasts, a “Back to Class” Pinterest board, and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates plugging supplies from national brands and private labels supported.