Intrinzic Insightz: Pumpkin promotions done right

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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'Tis the season…for all things pumpkin! Every fall, more and more companies introduce a seasonal spin on their core offerings. We’ve seen the good (the PSL), the bad (pumpkin Pringles) and the ugly (pumpkin spice toothpaste) when it comes to brands rolling out a pumpkin product. While some fall flat, there are several that integrate well into the brand. In honor of the official kickoff of the season, we thought we’d focus this week's edition of Intrinzic Insightz on pumpkin promotions that seamlessly connect back to the brand and are a smart strategic move on behalf of the company.

I think Sam Adams has done a good job across the seasons. They basically introduced the mass audience to the idea of seasonal brews. As a result, they dominate the marketing space - even though there are many others doing the same thing. Sam Adams does a great job of tying in the culture of seasonal holidays into the idea of personalized craft beer.

Dave Townsend, President

As for pumpkin, no doubt, my favorite is the PSL at Starbucks! The thing that impresses me about this is that they always take if off the market when supplies run out and you can't get it all year. That takes discipline when the temptation is to maximize profits and offer the drink all year. Yet, they don't do it.

Wendy Vonderhaar, CEO

It really comes back to Starbucks. Not only are they doing it first, but they’re doing it best. They keep innovating on the PSL, and when I think about it, are consistently at the top for delivering fall moments.

Jon Clements, Account Director

When I think of the best pumpkin promotions, Busken Cookies, Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Pumpkin Pie Pinnacle Vodka, Bath & Body Works all come to mind.

Sarah Eisenmann, Associate Design Director

Smoothie King provides a delicious pumpkin spice drink made with Chobani yogurt. They have me hooked! While most locations only offer this seasonally, the location by my house actually stocks it year-round (and I like to think they do this just for me).”

Jenn Riegert, Account Director

When I think of off-beat pumpkin promotions that actually work and sell in the food category, I think of Thomas’ which offers a delightful take on one of their core product offering, the bagel. Their pumpkin spice bagel can always be found on the end cap at the grocery store and definitely meets the mark when it comes to quality of taste. While I think some pumpkin promotions aren’t a great extension of a brand, this one works and it keeps me looking forward to it year after year.

Sarah Petracco, Senior Account Manager

Bath & Body Works is claiming that they have the world’s best pumpkin fragrances on their Facebook page. They introduced the pumpkin scent into their full product line of candles, hand lotions, perfumes etc.

Savannah Heekin, Graphic Designer

I am always fascinated when brands take a conversation happening in popular culture and build content that plays off it while directing the discourse to their brand. An example I saw recently was car purchasing site BestRide.com that offered a fun gallery of pumpkin spice-colored cars. The woodgrain-paneled Mercury station wagon on the first page was reminiscent of the 1974 AMC Hornet Sportabout wagon my family rode around in growing up.”

Rob Pascquinucci, Senior PR and Content Strategist

That's our long list of brands who've successfully integrated this seasonal craze into their overall strategy. What's your favorite pumpkin promotion? Or better yet, which pumpkin promotion is the least likely to succeed and why?

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