The retail world looks different now and there's a lot of uncertainty. Instead of highlighting the absurd products we normally do, we're looking at some of the things in the industry that made us smile.
This week, Busch Beer created a contest that's perfect for those spending more time at home, Dunkin' started selling branded face masks and Burger King said it will reward individuals sheltering in place with a "Lockdown Whopper."
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Busch puzzles customers with latest campaign
As a result of shelter-in-place mandates and people spending more time at home, puzzles have seen increased popularity in recent months. And brands are using this opportunity to integrate them into their marketing.
Heinz Canada last month released a "ridiculously slow" puzzle comprised of 570 nearly identical red pieces. McDonald's also released its own puzzle around a similar time inspired by one of its famous burgers.
Now beer maker Busch is pushing out a puzzle of its own. The 525-piece puzzle features the brand's spokesperson, Busch Guy, holding a classic can of Busch Light. A few versions, however, feature a gold can instead.
An indoor activity could lead to amazing outdoor adventures!— Busch Beer (@BuschBeer) June 16, 2020
Buy a Busch Medallion puzzle today. If yours shows a Golden Can, you could win a $5,000 vacation to the Great Outdoors*! $5 per puzzle goes to the @NationalForests, max. $5,000. Claim yours: https://t.co/eOZhgRAcbQ pic.twitter.com/h2jtoBRRW3
Consumers that receive a gold version can snap and share a photo of their completed puzzle using the hashtags #BuschPuzzles and #Sweepstakes to win a $5,000 outdoor vacation. This contest has Willy Wonka written all over it.
The puzzles do sell online for $30, but that might be money well-invested if it means experiencing the vacation of a lifetime.
Busch's marketing team hasn't sat still during the pandemic, though. Back in April, the Anheuser-Busch brand launched a campaign aimed at giving out a year of free beer to couples who have had to postpone wedding plans due to the coronavirus.
America runs on Dunkin'... face masks?
Since the pandemic began, more and more retailers have begun to offer non-medical grade face masks. And as more states require individuals to wear masks or face coverings while in public, demand is high.
So in a somewhat surprising move, one of America's most popular coffee joints is now also selling masks.
"Here at Dunkin', we've always had your back. Now, we have you covered," the company said in a blog post.
The masks come in five different designs, and are made from two-ply poly scuba cloth with a nose pleat and a filter pocket to add additional layers. The products, which are available for purchase in Dunkin's online pop-up shop, cost $10 with $3 of that going toward the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation, which helps provide health and hunger relief to children in underserved communities.
Although not the intention, masks are quickly becoming a way for individuals to express themselves. So for all the coffee and doughnut lovers out there, these Dunkin' masks might be the most coveted summer accessory.
Burger King Brazil encourages social distancing with new Whopper campaign
Burger King Brazil this month unveiled a new campaign, "Lockdown Whopper," that aims to reward those staying at home. The fast-food restaurant is using the geolocation feature on its app to assess when consumers are sheltering in place.
"Even with the social distancing recommendation, we want to be present in people's daily lives in a relevant way," Thais Nicolau, director of communication and innovation at Burger King Brazil, said in a statement. "This is why we developed an unprecedented and innovative action, that also encourages people to stay at home by rewarding them. We thought a lot about how to make the topic lighter, considering our responsibility as a brand and company."
Participating customers will receive vouchers for free food, like snacks. But as consumers spend more time at home, the prizes get better, so consumers could end up scoring a free Whopper sandwich or a combo meal.
Other Burger Kings across the world have also used their marketing to promote safe distancing. Burger King Italy launched an ad for a "Social Distancing Whopper," which features triple the amount of raw onions on it, and Burger King Germany created larger-than-life crowns to encourage customers to socially distance themselves.