Sam’s Club takes back-to-school season seriously, leading warehouse club chain activity by giving the stage to the season's major CPG players including General Mills, Kellogg Co. and SC Johnson’s Ziploc.
The manufacturer’s evergreen “Box Tops for Education” platform fully embraced digital this year, unveiling a new mobile application that lets shoppers snap a picture and scan their receipts instead of physically clipping on-pack Box Tops.
Differing slightly from last year's account-specific incentive, Sam’s Club shoppers this year can earn 12 bonus Box Tops credits (valued at 10 cents per credit) to a redeeming school) for each participating product in custom packaging purchased from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30.
Marketing materials prominently highlight the new app. Display, carousel and top-of-page ads throughout samsclub.com as well as email ads spotlight the offer and participating product, often linking to a dedicated e-commerce page corralling eligible items. Sponsored blog posts from social influencers have also supported, including lifestyle blogger Jenn Mitchell's Aug. 12 “Comeback Momma” blog post directing people to Sam’s Club that was sponsored by General Mills and Nestle.
BJ’s Wholesale Club is activating the cause platform by offering $5 in Box Tops with purchase of two participating products from July 1 through Sept. 30. Meanwhile, warehouse club leader Costco is additionally running a sweeps from July 15 through Sept 30 awarding 100 Box Tops credits to 5,000 members.
Sam’s Club reprised its annual “Feeding Reading” promotion with Kellogg and new partner Penguin Random House, which took the place of Scholastic this year. The promotion offers one free Penguin Random House book plus one to be donated to a local school with purchase of a qualifying SKU in custom packaging from brands including Pop-Tarts, Keebler and Pringles from May 24 through Sept. 30. Books must be redeemed within 30 days of purchase on feedingreading.com/sams. Concurrently, Kellogg also touted free shipping on “back-to-school faves” from participating brands.
Activity this year grew to include in-store literary events comprising decked out table displays promoting the offer while stocking participating Pop-Tart SKUs (spotted in Champaign, IL, on Aug. 2) next to a large cardboard cutout standee of a children’s book character. Around the same time another Sam's Club in McKinney, TX, welcomed book characters and Kellogg mascots like Tony the Tiger to their store event, doling out samples of Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats, posing for photos and holding a reading hour.
Physical handouts also supported in stores, while calling out the 18,000 books donated in 2018 from Sam’s Club members. Online marketing materials are similar to that of General Mills’ Box Tops campaign.
Sam’s Club and rival BJ’s received an overlay to SC Johnson-owned Ziploc’s national S.T.E.M campaign as a sweepstakes awarding up to 806 KiwiCo prize packs comprising a S.T.E.M. Station for a classroom (up to 25 students) to complete a science or engineering project.
BJ’s and Sam’s Club shoppers enter by purchasing any eligible Ziploc product and uploading the receipt on club.winziplocstem.com. Additionally, every receipt entered unlocks DIY S.T.E.M. activities that utilize Ziploc products, created through a partnership with KiwiCo. Again, online support at Sam's Club mirrors those of the other brand efforts.
Other BTS-themed activity included:
- Procter & Gamble’s Crest dangling “over $14 in instant savings on back-to-school smiles” through Sept. 15 using display ads within samsclub.com and email ads.
- Mott’s encouraging parents to “pack their [kid’s] lunch with a smarter snack” in email ads.
- Unilever’s All laundry detergent and Georgia-Pacific’s Quilted Northern toilet paper joining forces for “Rule the school year” samsclub.com display ads and email ads inviting shoppers to “stock up on household essentials.”
- P&G’s Always initiative to #EndPeriodPoverty with a promise to donate one period product to U.S. school girls for every Always or Tampax pack purchased in September receiving the spotlight through Instant Savings, display ads within samsclub.com and email ads. (Sam’s Club also recently supported the initiative in its March Instant Savings booklet and parent-company Walmart ran a comprehensive shopper marketing program earlier this year).
A number of other brands and manufacturers teamed with Sam’s Club to run BTS-themed samsclub.com and email ads, including Jack Links, Clorox, Kraft Heinz and Johnson & Johnson’s Listerine and Neutrogena.
View more back-to-school images from Sam's Club here.