Kroger’s “Game Day Greats” Scores Big

Kroger ran their annual “Game Day Greats” campaign, but this time, with all new prizes, omnichannel tactics, and manufacturer participation.

With Kroger’s Game Day Greats Instant-Win Sweepstakes program, shoppers can instantly win up to 23 food product prizes considered to be part of the game day greats collection. Products from popular brands like Pepsi, Goldfish, Campbell’s, Ragu, Tyson and more were all ups for grabs. Open to loyalty cardholders, Kroger shoppers can participate in the sweepstakes by visiting and selecting their local store. To play, players pull open four tabs – or “panels” – to reveal symbols. Similar to a scratch-off card, if a tab reveals three trophy symbols in a row, you are a winner, and the digital coupon for the free SKU can be uploaded to your shopping card. The initial, fall 2017 run of the sweeps awarded 88,300 digital coupons for free SKUs – more than three times the prize pool of last year’s game!

But offering Instant-Win to footballs fans looking to create a guest-pleasing party spread without spending big was just a portion of the program. Elaborate in-store marketing, including floorstands, floor clings and shelf talkers, creatively incorporated the program tagline – “Where Food and Fans Unite” – and drove shoppers to to access party recipes, place party platter orders, and explore recipes incorporating products from participating brands, including Hershey Co.’s Reese’s, Mondelez International’s Ritz, Kellogg Co.’s Cheez-It and Unilever’s Hellmann’s.

By promoting an online community of party-planning resources and food prize sweepstakes, participating manufacturers were able to effectively position their products as the essential ingredients of “game day great” dishes. They were also able to engage fans in discovering and exchanging winning game day recipes and party hosting ideas by  cross-media promoting the website content via email blasts and social media posts leveraging #GameDayGreats. These social media posts effectively worked to generate football fan food conversation, encouraging them to share their own “game day greats” – aka – recipes for dishes that put participating brand products to inventive and tasty use!

Another way in which Kroger fully powered the creation of a successful Superbowl celebration was by giving Anheuser-Busch InBev a staring role in the Game Day Greats campaign by running their exclusive “Tailgate Prize Vault” rewards program. Tailgate Prize Vault allows shoppers to redeem points for certain product purchases via by uploading a photo of their store receipt. Points can also be earned by uploading a picture of an in-store display of the campaign or by writing a promotional post via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtags #tailgateprizevault and #sponsored. Unlike the Game Day Greats sweeps, which awarded food items, points could be redeemed for branded merchandise, including Budweiser sunglasses (25 points), a Bud Light folding chair (250 points) or a Michelob Ultra duffle bag (650 points). This program effectively drove in-store beverage sales by incentivizing the beer run – with each trip enabling the fan to earn more and more items to create the ultimate tailgate or at-home viewing experience. Perhaps even more significant though was their allowance of shoppers to earn swag by becoming campaign sponsors, successfully working to generate consumer-driven campaign promotion, often the most effective kind of all. Whether celebrating at-home or at-game, Kroger enabled shoppers to earn the gear, food, beverages and recipes needed for ultimate game-day enjoyment!

Game Day Greats success can also be contributed to its early start. Conducted in two waves, program awareness and hype was generated far in advance. The campaign was first run from Aug. 20 to Sept. 23, 2017, then re-launched from Dec. 24 107 to Feb 02, 2018, this time awarding 66,3000 digital coupons! Digital tactics that supported run two included display ads on websites such as and, carousel ads on chain home pages, and Facebook and Twitter updates promoting the coupons and recipes found on the campaign website. Pepsi and Kellogg Co.’s Cheez-It also deployed Game Day Greats shelf talkers via SmartSource, while standees and balloons from the retailer supported the effort. TV, radio spots and press ads in newspapers further rounded out the marketing campaign.

By appealing to the football fan culture of community and leveraging the complete marketing mix to their advantage, Kroger was able to bring fans together in conversation around the second most important aspect of the day – Food.


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