Walmart is the largest retailer in the world with more than 150 million people visiting 4700 stores every week in the United States.
With COVID-19 impacting people’s shopping habits in the long-term, Walmart’s retail dominance was under threat.
With life more complicated than ever, and with shoppers increasingly turning to fast, time-saving solutions, Walmart decided to launch a new membership program – Walmart+ – that makes life easier, and doesn’t sacrifice on cost or convenience.
This would be the biggest launch in Walmart’s 50-year history and our objectives were to drive brand awareness and trial of the service.
To achieve this, our goals were to create a digital campaign that inspired, amazed and gave hope to people across the US. We would measure this by engagement with our campaign.
Our insight came from looking at the world as it was. Life had irreversibly changed due to COVID and people were desperately seeking the normality of pre-pandemic times.
In short, they were desperate for a reason to celebrate. And we would give them one.
Our target audience would be time-sensitive, busy families.
Our strategy was to show how Walmart+ —a new membership program—could give people time back and elevate the moments we cherish, by “plussing up” several important moments.
As a result of COVID-19, time is increasingly precious. And with the pandemic robbing people of moments that we all look forward to – whether it’s a birthday, Halloween, cultural traditions like a Quinceañera or even a family dinner – we saw an opportunity to highlight the convenience Walmart can deliver to consumers.
‘Plussed-Up Experiences’ was a cross-platform program with digital and social at its heart that put Walmart’s eCommerce product on the map.
We knew that with the right content, we would make a huge splash.
It started with promoting Walmart+ across social media, digital channels and offline media, including a placement in People magazine’s print spotlight.
With millions of eyes on our launch, we promoted our branded content across social media to take Plussed-Up Experiences to an epic level, by encouraging our audiences across Meredith properties, such as Allrecipes, People en Espanol and Better Homes and Gardens, to enter a unique “Plus Up” contest, with the message focused on bringing back canceled events.
First, “A Plussed Up Halloween” launched with a video featuring a fantastic Trunk or Treat experience and surprise Jason DeRulo concert for seven well-deserving frontline worker families.
This was supported by interactive Premium Articles across Meredith’s suite of publications, focused on how to keep your kids entertained at Halloween with DIY Activities (Parents and Parents Latina) and how to de-stress on a Self-Care Sunday (Real Simple). To drive purchase, shoppable carts were embedded in the articles for readers to buy the items necessary to replicate the experience for themselves.
Next, “A Plussed-Up Thanksgiving” featured Marcus Samuelsson surprising a tri-state area family with special Thanksgiving gifts and their extended family on Zoom. Our support articles focused on fast fresh meals (Better Homes and Gardens) and festive holiday beauty looks (People en Espanol).
Finally, “A Plussed-Up Quinceañera,” showed People en Espanol Editor Kika Rocha, and Mexican singer/songwriter Sofia Reyes surprising a tri-state area 15-year-old with the traditional coming-of-age party of a lifetime.
Additionally, the talent we were lucky enough to work with—including Jason Derulo, Marcus Samuelsson, and Sofia Reyes—promoted our hero activations across their own social channels.
We turned Walmart’s biggest ever launch into a runaway success and our branded content was a smash hit across all three waves.
Wave One (Halloween) saw our native landing page achieve an engagement rate (ER) more than 13 times over publisher benchmark and our hero video achieved engagement across social media that was 516% over benchmark. Similarly, we witnessed an astonishing 29.4% video completion rate. Across both Facebook & Instagram, our in-feed posts and Stories video creatives have all recorded fantastic individual ERs highly exceeding their respective benchmarks, out-performing averages by up to 26x and 30x, respectively.
Wave Two (Thanksgiving) saw our premium article in Better Homes & Gardens drive more than 46,000 page views with users spending an average of more than two minutes (129s) on the page. Across social, our long-form video smashed the engagement benchmark by 316%. Stories video creatives on Facebook in-feed and Instagram also recorded strong individual ERs and exceeding their respective benchmarks, with results up to 3x and 40x over averages, respectively.
Finally, in Wave Three, our Quinceañera short-form videos deliver engagement 378% over benchmark and video completion rates were equally impressive (137% over benchmark). Across Facebook and Instagram, our in-feed post and Stories recorded outstanding engagement rates, outperforming averages by 15x & 10x respectively.
We knew people were craving those magical moments, and we demonstrated how Walmart+ could make them extra special.
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