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

Special Project

Special Project NEW!
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Joy Shop

Finalist in Facebook, Augmented Reality

About this entry

After two years of “making do,” our customers were ready to turn the joy up from 10 to 11 for Holiday 2021 – research showed that customers were eager to go ALL OUT for the holidays, including finding the most meaningful and thoughtful gifts for their loved ones. This year was about quality over quantity, but Walmart had a huge perception barrier to face & a tough competitive challenger standing in the way of regaining its #1 Holiday retailer position: Walmart had lost its #1 share position to Amazon since last year, particularly losing customers’ perception for Convenience and Quality Perception.

Our Joy Shop AR Lens was a first-to-market innovation specifically designed to help customers find the meaningful gifts that would make their holidays as joyful as they aspired it to be. Customers were targeted with dedicated ads driving to 1 of the 5 unique AR Lens. Upon opening the AR Lens in their Facebook app, gift ideas would cycle above the user’s head. Utilizing facial expression recognition technology, customers simply had to smile, nod or say “wow” in order to save the gifts they liked and get prompted to shop them on Gone are the days of scrolling through endless pages of products, with this AR Lens, Walmart re-imagined the way customers can get inspired for the holidays.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

While customers typically love online shopping, the endless scrolling takes the joy and fun out of finding the perfect gift during the holidays: 54% of customers abandon e-commerce sites if choosing what to shop for is too difficult. This holiday, the last thing customers wanted was to make shopping for gifts feel like a chore: 3 out of 4 Walmart customers wanted to make the holidays more fun so we set out to come up with an idea that made gift shopping as enjoyable and easy as flashing a smile.

We turned to Meta who had recently integrated facial expression recognition technology with its popular lens feature on Facebook to create the first ever gift guide activated by facial expressions. The lens was able to cycle through 10 gift ideas, the top 4, determined by the users’ expression of joy, would be saved as a shoppable set for users to share on their Facebook feed or lead directly to the Gift Finder on

We created 5 different lenses based on holiday themes and personas people typically shop for: Holiday in Style; New Year, New Tech; Host with the Most; Fun with the Fam; and Holiday Head-Turners. We then integrated 5 suppliers to ensure we had a selection of unique and special gifts to choose from.

We knew that this would be setting a new standard in interactive digital shopping experiences – so we needed to ensure it was getting the buzz it deserved. With dedicated paid media driving users to the experience and several press pick-ups, the Joy Shop AR Lens became one of the most buzzed-about and exciting component of our Holiday campaign.


The Holiday season is one of the most crowded advertising moments of the year, but our Joy Shop AR Lens was able to break through, capture our audience, and succeed in making Walmart a destination of holiday shopping. 7.4MM people engaged with Joy Shop AR Lens, and engaged with the lens 2x longer than the industry baseline. We also saw a 44% increase in “intent to shop” with Walmart this holiday season.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Dept W (Publicis NY, Fallon, Digitas), Walmart


Entry Credits