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My take on the Stickeez Pick n Pay marketing campaign


From the moment this campaign started (and my kids were wildly nagging to go shopping - something that normally entails a pile of sugared bribery), I was fascinated to see the outcome. Both the financial results and the overall impact for Pick n Pay.

The frenzy was certainly very real and the rumoured reports of a 12% increase in sales seem conservative to me. The Whats App group for my Grade 1 son pinged through the night with obsessive talks (by the Mums!) of swopping Gloo-Gloo, Snakey, Chompy in the car park the next morning, so that their son could complete his collection. I just couldn't bare the whole thing. I did, however, made a lot more trips to Pick n Pay than I ever have before and probably more trips to the shops than neccessary. As much as we hate to admit it, we'll do almost anything to please our kids. But all along the idea of supporting and shopping at a retailer simply because they gave my kids a cheap chinese made piece of rubber just seemed wrong. I also didn't enjoy the store environment (something I've never really thought about but this whole craze made me think about it). The moment the campaign ended I never shopped there again. And won't.

Perhaps my story isn't the norm. Perhaps it drew in a pile of new shoppers who then loved the store and now continue to shop there. There is virtually no published info on what the real impact the campaign had (which in itself is a little concerning). But my gut says it did more damage than good. Marketing campaigns that focus on short term gain over long term brand building, almost always do damage.

Here are some things to consider that support my theory:

  • Coercing adults to spend more money on groceries to keep the kids happy, can potentially create underlying animosity towards the brand resulting in decreased sales over the long term

  • Kids toys have very little to do with efficient supermarket operations and focusing all your resources on a short term toy campaign says little for your management of the store, merchandising, products etc

  • For many the perception (and perception is the most important thing when building brands) is that Pick n Pay were desperate for increased sales by implementing the Stikeez campaign

  • Kids are really fickle. What’s hot today is gone tomorrow.

  • What now? Once you promote, you’re expected to promote. Shoppers will just go back to their old habits until you offer a crazy promotion again.

Long term brand building?

I don’t think so.


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