Unilever Supports Men's Grooming in Warehouse Channel

Unilever at BJ's

For the second year in a row, Unilever ran a revamped version of a sports-themed campaign highlighting personal care at BJ’s Wholesale Club and Sam’s Club.

The men's grooming football program ran from September through October 2021 to drive purchase of the Axe, Dove Men+Care (DMC) and Degree portfolio of products. 

At Sam's and BJ's, it can be hard to engage members with content that works to drive conversion, says Billy Dyer, shopper marketing manager at Unilever. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led Unilever to shift away from sweepstakes with game-ticket prizes to digital campaigns from Boston-based Breaktime Media. 

"With a men's grooming football campaign, you might expect a male target focus — but a lot of club members doing the shopping for men’s grooming items are women," Dyer says. "So for this program, we focused on both male and female club shoppers."

Unilever leveraged print media and video demos at BJ's. The manufacturer also had influencers push out social content and utilized each retailer's media network for digital marketing, such as banner ads.


"With both BJ's and Sam's Club, we align our on-site media to the ongoing price promotion to drive awareness of the product among shoppers," Dyer says. "Within that price promotion timeframe, the barrier to purchase tends to be lower. So getting across the messaging for member savings, along with the fact that there's a men's grooming item for everyone, is key." (He says that Axe resonates with younger shoppers, DMC products appeal to Millennials and older, and Degree attracts all ages.)

In-home mailers helped Unilever get on club members' shopping lists before their anticipated stock-up trip. From a digital perspective, Breaktime Media reached club members pre-shop, personalizing the Unilever portfolio to each individual and driving through e-commerce as well as in-store.

Unilever was also able to capture product reviews directly through the Breaktime campaign and distribute them across its retailer customers' sites.

Although complete 2021 results were not available at press time, in 2020 the campaign drove a sales lift of 41% year-over-year across BJ's and Sam's Club, Dyer says. The Breaktime campaign specifically had an engagement time of 2 minutes and 15 seconds spent per shopper. The program had a 2.18% incremental sales lift on top of the year-over-year growth.

In all, more than $646,000 worth of products were added to digital carts across Sam's Club, BJ's and Instacart, Dyer says.