Blog Series

Something to Shake a Stick At

Peter Breen
Peter Breen profile picture

No one has ever accused me of having sophisticated tastes. Neither has anyone ever mistaken me for an intellectual. Therefore, I am not at all embarrassed to declare that I think the idea of using Dentastix dog chews as selfie sticks so that pet owners can get their pooches to look at the camera during photo ops is nothing short of brilliant.

That was the fabulously simply (simply fabulous?) concept behind a campaign from Mars Petcare’s Pedigree and BBDO New York that we cover as part of our most extensive “Awards Showcase” ever – a look at 29 shopper marketing programs that earned recognition earlier this year through two industry awards programs: The Association of National Advertisers’ Reggies and Effie Worldwide’s eponymous Commerce & Shopper Effies.

Another brilliantly simple (and simply brilliant) idea that we examine was the “Whopper Detour,” in which Burger King and FCB/RED used location-based tools to divert the attention of consumers in or near a McDonald’s by offering them a Whopper for 1 cent. And here’s another: Goodyear transporting tire installation into the shopper-friendly 21st century through new services that save consumers from sniffing rubber at the tire center all afternoon. I could go on, but it might just be easier to let you proceed and find your own inspirational favorites. There are plenty from which to choose.

Before I do, though, I want to thank all of the brand and agency folks who helped us pull the showcase together by providing information – and also to mention that Path to Purchase Institute members have access to additional content related to these case studies on, as well as to an extensive library of case studies describing past award winners from a variety of industry initiatives. That includes roughly 75 past Effie standouts since 2012 and hundreds of winners from our very own Design of the Times competition. (Incidentally, we’ll be announcing the 2020 DOT winners during a virtual celebration on Oct. 7, with help from our sponsors at Great Northern Instore and SellCheck. More on that next month, when we’ll be announcing this year’s finalists.)

While I’m feeling grateful, I’d also like to thank the members of the Institute’s League of Leaders who recommended that we interview the very worthy up-and-coming colleagues profiled in our annual “People to Watch” feature. This year’s crop of honorees – from Coca-Cola, Mattel, SC Johnson, Intel and seven other product manufacturers – seem especially savvy and particularly equipped to help lead their organizations into the future.

Why? Maybe it’s because, as young professionals (all are under 36), they’re already living the omnichannel consumer lifestyle our industry is working so hard to keep pace with. For someone like me, who also hasn’t been mistaken for youthful in at least a couple decades now (and whose career does, in fact, predate the Internet), these future leaders offer some enlightening perspectives on where we need to go. I, for one, am ready to follow.

More Blog Posts In This Series

  • ​​​​​​​How (and Where) We Shop

    To help our readers keep the pulse of the new, ever-evolving consumer, we polled 1,000 primary household grocery shoppers to understand their purchase activity.
  • ​​​​​​​Hello … and an Ode to Retail

    It’s nice to “meet” all of you, our readers! My name is Jessie Dowd and I recently joined the Institute and Path to Purchase IQ as Editorial Director.
  • Introductions Are in Order

    I’d like to use some space here to introduce everyone to a couple of new initiatives that the Path to Purchase Institute will be rolling out this month. We hope you’ll be as excited about participating in them as we are about bringing them to our industry.