The mark of a winner: Axe Apollo nails ‘Four Cs’ of Design of Times competition

CHICAGO — The drug channel winner of the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Design of the Times merchandising display competition fired on all cylinders in meeting the “Four C’s” judges use to measure each of the displays — ability to command attention, connect with the shopper, convey a clear message and close the sale.

Unilever’s Axe Apollo Astronaut floorstand, designed by RockTenn Merchandising Displays, was named the Design of the Times 2013 Platinum Award Winner in the drug store category by Path to Purchase Institute judges. The display proved critical in helping to drive awareness and encourage trial for Axe’s new fragrance, Axe Apollo 2, through a special promotion that awarded a free trip to space camp for a handful of winning customers.

Because the majority of Axe purchase decisions are made in store, the display needed to be disruptive in nature and command the shopper's attention. “Our job is to interrupt the shopper,” Jon Kramer, RockTenn chief marketing officer, told DSN. “The way we do that is with very powerful messaging and very powerful visuals that really are designed to stop the shopper,” he said. “Because when you think about it, shoppers are there in the store for the most part to do one thing — that’s get out of the store. So you have to turn shoppers into stoppers, and those stoppers into browsers, and those browsers into buyers.”

The display encouraged consumers to purchase an Axe product, as purchase triggered a receipt code needed to enter the Space Camp contest.

Return on investment was measured across a number of factors, including the incremental sales generated by the display, the number of impressions and the conversion rate of purchases to contest entries.

RockTenn Merchandising Displays accepting the platinum award.

“No successful shopper marketing program doesn’t include in-store activation,” noted Peter Hoyt, CEO and executive director of the Path to Purchase Institute and host of the Shopper Marketing Expo. “There are lots of programs out there, but the ones that really succeed have some kind of excellent activation in store.”

Unilever beat out 16 other contestants in the drug channel. For an in-depth look at the other finalists in the drug channel, see ‘Out of this world’ display takes top nod in annual Design of the Times awards.

Designed by Frank Mayer & Associates, the Wii U Interactive Retail Display Program, which competed in the mass merchandisers category, was named “Best of the Times” at the show, marking the best overall product display across all eight retail categories, including drug, food, mass, consumer electronics, convenience, home center/hardware, sporting goods and specialty store channels.

For a look at all of the gold, silver, bronze and platinum winners in all eight retail categories, visit

Presenting the awards were Natalie Zimny of Target and Louis Dorado of Walgreens.

For more DSN coverage from the Shopper Marketing Expo, visit


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