SPRING, Texas -- H.E. Butt Grocery Co.'s 69 Pantry Food Stores here had an 85% sell-through with a stuffed animal promotion called Old MacDonald's Talking Farmyard Friends. The continuity promotion "did excellently," said Judy Jones, buyer-merchandiser at Pantry Food Stores, who pointed to the uniqueness of the product.
"It was a unique item and the first time we ran a continuity of this type, and the price was right," Jones said of the eight-week promotion that ran through Oct. 24 with a two-week cleanup in November. The stuffed animals contained computer chips so that each character could sing its own individual song. Shippers of the animals were merchandised at front endcaps. The retailers sparked interest in the promotion with full-page color newspaper ads and in-ad coupons worth $2.00, which brought the cost of each weekly featured animal down to $4.99. A companion 36-page sing-a-long coloring book and cassette tape featuring old MacDonald and his eight Farmyard Friends -- Peeke Pig, Casey Cow, Kassi Kitten, Pepi Puppy, Randy Rooster, Paco Pony, Lucy Lamb and Dani Duck -- was offered at $1.99 with an in-ad coupon valued at $2 in the kickoff week. Although the assorted stuffed animals appealed primarily to children ages 3 to 12 years, "the products were also popular with a lot of older kids that still collect animals to put in their room," said Sue Ann Olson, vice president of supermarket sales and marketing at Plymouth, Minn.-based Metacom, the marketing and promotion firm that supplied the program. Peeke Pig, which makes an oink sound, was the best seller, followed by Kassi Kitten, which meows, said Olson.