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Big Box Retailers Fire Up Summer With Grill Advertising

May 24, 2021 Erin Sweeney

Shutterstock_1904213914 Group of cheerful young friends having fun playing the guitar and singing at backyard barbecue party, drinking beer, grilling meat and relaxing by the swimming pool

As the long, warm days of summer approach, consumers are thinking about barbecues and outdoor living spaces. According to Google Trends, in the mid-May through early June time period, searches for grilling and grills spike. This year, particularly as social gatherings are likely to become popular again, many consumers will be investing in grills and outdoor dining supplies. 

Big Box Stores Reach Consumers With Social Media, Web & Email Content

Big box retailers, including Lowe’s, Walmart, Target and The Home Depot, appear ready for the increased interest in summer fun and are deploying digital marketing to place the tools and techniques for a delicious grilling season in front of the consumers when they are ready to buy. 

Lowe’s Uses Social Channels & Brand Content For The ‘It’s Grill Time’ Campaign

Lowe’s ‘It’s Grill Time’

Lowe’s is using its social media channels to inspire and inform shoppers about cooking with the many grills Lowe’s offers. The home improvement retailer sponsored an “It’s Grill Time” Pinterest board, which links to content on the outdoor living ideas page of the Lowe’s website, offering recipes, grilling tips and outdoor living DIY projects that enhance grilling season. The Lowe’s Facebook and Twitter channels also drive users to Lowe’s online content, where shoppers can find a grill buying guide with brand specific information, including videos and recipes for outdoor grilling.

In-store demos are slowly coming back as the pandemic recedes, but Lowe’s is continuing to feature virtual grill demos. Virtual demos are searchable online and consumers can watch these videos on demand to explore products prior to purchase. 

The Home Depot Uses Content To Inspire Grill Buying & Cooking

With so many available options tied to convenience, taste, space and portability, buying a grill can be daunting for consumers. To help shoppers make informed choices and to drive traffic to their ecommerce platform, The Home Depot created grill guides, an online hub that features buying guides, project guides and inspiration guides. 

Branded content, including short-form video, is a popular way for brands to share expertise and build trust with consumers. Strategic content marketing also offers opportunities for partnerships with other brands and sponsored posts.

Walmart Search Tools Help Shoppers Find The Right Grill

Instead of celebrity chefs, Walmart is featuring its own employee in the YouTube video “How to Grill Like a Pro: 4 Simple Hacks.” As social media users tire of polished and perfect influencers, authentic, real people may be better suited to connect with Walmart shoppers. The video, part of the Walmart Associate How-to Series, offers grilling tips and promotes the use of Walmart curbside pickup options for everything from dinner groceries to Walmart grills. Walmart offers a wide variety of grills and their online platform makes it easy to search for the right one. The grills and outdoor cooking landing page on the retailer’s website allows shoppers to search for grills by style, by brand and by price point. 

Target Email Campaign Encourages Shoppers To Get Grilling 

target bbq

Target’s summer email campaign tells customers, “It’s time to fire up the grill,” and “take mealtime outside.” The campaign links to their grill and outdoor cooking website page and the Target outdoor dining page, which features meal ideas for the grill. The Target website offers information to help shoppers find the right grill plus a variety of outdoor living products, including dining sets, coolers and tableware. Seasonal email campaigns can put inspiration in front of consumers when they are most ready to buy.

Investment In Outdoor Fun Is A Trend Likely To Stick Around

Creating an outdoor cooking and dining space can involve big ticket purchases, so consumers are searching online for product information and comparisons. According to Statista, Americans spent $1.36 billion on grills and barbecues in 2019. During the pandemic, home improvement sales grew and many consumers made investments into their outdoor living spaces so they could socialize more safely. It’s likely this upward trend will continue for years to come. With relevant content to support the purchase and use of grills and outdoor living essentials, big box retailers can differentiate to drive traffic and sales

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About the Author

Erin Sweeney

Erin Sweeney is a freelance writer and professional educator. Throughout her 12 years of experience in secondary education, she has taught advanced composition, business communications and research methodology. Erin has a keen interest in psychology and the science of motivation. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Saint Anselm College and a Master’s in Education from Plymouth State University. Through research and writing, Erin contributes to DMS Insights with informative articles surrounding the digital and performance marketing industries.

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