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Crossmark acquires marketing-solutions firm PromoWorks

BY Michael Johnsen

PLANO, Texas — Crossmark on Monday announced the acquisition of the assets of PromoWorks, an insights-driven shopper marketing solutions firm. PromoWorks will be led by industry veteran Julie Beck. Prior to joining PromoWorks in 2011, Beck held a variety of leadership positions at Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft and the Partnering Group.

"PromoWorks offers unique strategies that enhance the retail experience through customized shopper engagement and product sampling/demonstration events," stated Joe Crafton, Crossmark CEO. "The transaction will result in Crossmark being the preferred product sampling and demonstration agency for 10 of the top 20 food retailers in the United States and the exclusive event marketing planning agency for many of the top consumer brands."

PromoWorks will be Crossmark’s go-to-market brand that will be the foundation for growth in grocery shopper engagement.  Crossmark will roll its NCiM grocery events business under the leadership of the PromoWorks management team.

This is Crossmark’s second recent acquisition of a marketing firm.  In August, Crossmark acquired Marketing Werks — one of the largest independent consumer-engagement companies in the United States.

"As traditional advertising continues to lose relevance in many categories, we are experiencing an explosion in utilizing people as media to engage with consumers on-the-go," Crafton noted. "According to our research, experiential marketing is expected to see robust growth over the next decade."

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Unilever signs sponsorship agreement with Manchester United

BY Antoinette Alexander

MANCHESTER, England — Unilever and Manchester United have inked a three-year regional partnership in South East Asia whereby Unilever will become the club’s official personal care and laundry partner in nine countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

A number of Unilever’s most popular personal care and laundry products, such as Clear, Omo and Rexona, will now carry the Manchester United crest.

“Manchester United is one of the world’s most iconic football clubs, with a passionate following in South East Asia. This is the first time Unilever has undertaken a partnership of this scale in the region, spanning nine rapidly developing markets,” stated Peter ter Kulve, president of Unilever, South East Asia and Australasia. “Both Unilever and Manchester United share a common belief in the importance of promoting physical activity. Through this partnership we will bring Manchester United Soccer Schools to the community in order to encourage not only children, but also their parents, that ‘Dirt is Good’ and outdoor play is vital to health, wellbeing and future development.”

 

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Axe enlists nine U.S. recruits for chance to win trip to Space

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — The phenomenon surrounding Unilever’s Axe Apollo, the largest campaign in the brand’s 30-year history, is coming to its epic conclusion in December at the Axe Apollo Space Academy.

After receiving 750,000 entries from all corners of the world, Axe has selected nine recruits to represent the United States. These recruits will have the opportunity to be selected to embark on a trip to space.

More than 100 recruits from 61 countries will gather at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to compete for the chance to receive one of 24 tickets to space. There they will push the boundaries of their physical and mental limits by taking part in a series of A.A.S.A. space training missions to experience what life is like as an astronaut — from floating weightless onboard a Boeing 727, to reaching zero gravity-force, to piloting a SIAI Marchetti Air Combat plane.

Since the start of the competition in January 2013, A.A.S.A. hopefuls in the United States have entered online via the Axe Apollo contest and through their local retailers. The retail partners, where fans could enter by purchasing Apollo and submitting a custom A.A.S.A. code found on product packs, include Commissary, H-E-B, Walgreens and Walmart.

The nine U.S. finalists will be entered into a random drawing to receive one of the tickets to space. The finalists who hail from all around the country include Bill Bell from West Virginia, Patrick Carney from Virginia, Jose Cook from North Carolina, Corey Fraser from Texas, Robert Katz from New Jersey, Matthew Kavka from Pennsylvania, Johnnie Moore from Hawaii, Jake Rohig from Illinois, and Stephen Spencer from Florida.

Two U.S. winners — one recruit from the AXE Apollo Space Academy and one previously selected winner from the A.A.S.A. Super Bowl competition — will embark on a mission to space as an official Axe Astronaut onboard the Space Expedition (Space XC) shuttle.

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