Sam's Club Weighs in on Celebrity Feud

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Sam's Club Weighs in on Celebrity Feud

By Jacqueline Barba - 11/19/2020

Sam’s Club is reigniting the ongoing fake celebrity feud between Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman for a cause effort requesting shoppers to weigh in on whose side they’re on. The winning actor gets bragging rights plus Sam’s Club will make a donation to both of their preferred charities. 

Shoppers can vote with their wallet by purchasing Reynolds-backed Aviation American Gin (which was acquired by Diageo in September) and Laughing Man Coffee, founded by Jackman and now primarily owned by Keurig Dr Pepper, at the warehouse club chain or cast their votes on a dedicated Sam’s Club microsite through Dec. 20. Purchases of Aviation gin benefit Reynolds’ preferred charity, SickKids Foundation, and purchases of Laughing Man Coffee benefit coffee farming communities through the brand’s Laughing Man Foundation.

Support is heavy in stores, spanning adjacent pallet displays stocking the gin and coffee at the end of the liquor aisle. Ceiling mobiles including one communicating “The Feud. Whose side are you on?” and two standees depicting a stony-faced Reynolds and Jackman call attention to the respective brands and cause effort. The signage also includes QR codes that link to a promotional microsite (samsclub.com/thefeud).

A samsclub.com home page leaderboard ad and a temporary carousel ad both also link to the microsite. Other support includes a number of comedic ads appearing via sponsored and unsponsored social media activity (view one video below), and a full-page ad within the warehouse club's 2020 "Big Holiday Savings Book." 

In addition to casting their vote, participants can enter a sweepstakes that will award five winners a virtual meet and greet with Reynolds and Jackman. Participants can vote and enter once every day for more chances to win between Nov. 10 and Dec. 20. Southfield, MI-based Merkle administers.

This isn’t the first time the two actors have joined forces for sarcastic marketing campaigns leveraging their brand affiliations and embattled bromance, which reportedly dates back to 2008 when the two starred in 20th Century Fox's X-Men Origins: Wolverine and has lived on via the occasional Twitter fight. In February 2019, Reynolds and Jackman attempted a “Truce” for a previous ad that tasked each with creating a promo video for the other’s brand. Not surprisingly, that ad didn't end in a truce and has garnered nearly 10 million views on Reynolds’ YouTube channel. (See video below.)

NOTE: For more photos from this campaign, visit p2pi.org. Path to Purchase Institute members have access to nearly 260 articles and more than 1,700 photos of merchandising and marketing activity at Sam's Club, along with a full Retailer Profile outlining the chain’s operations and strategies.