The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

Associate Hero Campaign

Entered in Real Time Response


Demonstrate gratitude for our associates who were working hard amidst challenging and uncertain circumstances. 

At the start of the pandemic, our associates were working overtime to clean clubs, sanitize carts, and keep items in stock. As the rest of the advertising world was starting to recognize that things were "a little bit different" and "we're all in this together," we chose to focus on the men and women who were keeping us going because they are truly heroes.





Strategy and Execution

We took a different approach than other corporations that were speaking to their customers. Instead, we spoke to our associates, as they were the heroes who were supporting our members/customers to ensure they had the items they need to survive under the lockdown. If it were not for their tireless service many people would have gone without basic necessities, such as food, water, and hand sanitizer.

We wanted to show our gratitude to our associate heroes, so we completely refocused our strategy to highlight our associate heroes. We began posting shout-outs to individuals associates and clubs on our social channels and leaning into the humanity of the people who were serving the communities they lived in.

We were one of the first businesses to focus on our associates, giving quarterly bonuses to all the part-time and full-time associates who were working in the field. But that wasn't all, we also thanked them on a national stage to show our appreciation.

With the CBS show Survivor receiving more than 7.5 million viewers, we focused on getting out our hero Thank You spot where it would have the most visibility and impact.

The video was published on our internal TVs in the club, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and ran from March 25 to April 24 and ran in :30 and :60 second video lengths in both English and Spanish.

We wanted our heroic associates to know this wasn't just a onetime thank you, and that we truly mean it when we say they're heroes.

(You can view the video at the bottom of this link.)



We leaned heavy into humanity for this campaign and it completely refocused our strategy. We began focusing heavily on the humanity of the brand rather than the products we sell. We went from posting once every few days to upwards of three times in a day just to show our associates how much we appreciated everything they were doing.

Club leadership supported the strategy by sharing stories with us to help lift up associates they knew were making a difference across the company.

AdAge ranked us No. 2 behind Budweiser and ahead of Jack Daniels, Nike, and the BBC.


Video for Associate Hero Campaign

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Sam's Club, Walmart Films, MONO, The Marketing Arm, Haworth


Entry Credits