Something to Shake a Stick At

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Something to Shake a Stick At

By Peter Breen - 09/14/2020

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

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It’s more than a little ironic that the importance of shopper marketing has been elevated during a national pandemic that severely limited the ability for brands to execute in brick-and-mortar stores.

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Anyone looking for a silver lining in the unprecedented upheaval the retail industry has undergone in the last few months need look no further than our report titled "The Future Unfolding."

S’mores at the End of the Tunnel

​​​​​​​I hope it’s not just wishful thinking, but I think I’ve seen signs that we might be coming out of the chaos. Well, at least one sign.

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