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Marketer's Brief: Walmart Employee Delivery Is a Slow-Go

Published on .

Welcome to the newest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick read on marketing news, moves and trends. Have tips or suggestions for next week's edition? Send to eschultz@adage.com.

Don't look for a Walmart cashier on your doorstep tomorrow. Walmart got lots of attention last week when it announced employees in three stores are delivering e-commerce packages on their way home. But in an analyst briefing after the retailer's Friday shareholder's meeting, CEO Doug McMillon threw cold water on the prospect of a national rollout soon to the other 4,700 stores. Given the complexities of applying wage and hour laws to this extra work, he said: "I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that's going to be nationwide too soon."

Store pickup is a winner, though

Credit: Walmart

Walmart is, however, getting plenty of mileage out of offering people discounts to pick up their online orders at stores, now available on 700,000 items. A new survey from IRI shows why. While only 8% of U.S. shoppers have bought stuff using such a "click-and-collect" option, 82% who did liked it enough to probably do it again. Of those who've picked up an online order in stores, 69% said they bought something else during the trip. IRI estimates e-commerce will account for 11% of packaged-goods sales by 2022, with $6.6 billion of the $88 billion in revenue coming from store pickups.

America: home of the brave, and the best brands

Have no fear, Americans still know how to grow brands. U.S.-based marketers dominate the 2017 BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands ranking made public this week by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. Of the top 100, 54 are U.S. brands, accounting for 71% of value of the top 100. The 54 brands grew 12% last year compared with a 1% decline for brands based in other regions -- except for China, whose brands accounted for 11% growth (not including state-owned enterprises). One of the biggest movers was Chinese brand Tencent. The owner of the WeChat social platform cracked the top 10 after its brand value jumped 27%. Rankings are compiled using analysis of financial and business performance along with interviews with over 3 million consumers globally. The top 10:

Rank 2017 Brand Category Brand value 2017 ($M) Brand value change Rank 2016
1 Google Technology 245,581 +7% 1
2 Apple Technology 234,671 +3% 2
3 Microsoft Technology 143,222 +18% 3
4 Amazon Retail 139,286 +41% 7
5 Facebook Technology 129,800 +27% 5
6 AT&T Telecom providers 115,112 +7% 4
7 Visa Payments 110,999 +10% 6
8 Tencent Technology 108,292 +27% 11
9 IBM Technology 102,088 +18% 10
10 McDonald's Fast food 97,723 +10% 9
Source: Kantar Millward Brown.

These billboards are watching you

Transformers: The Last Knight ad
Transformers: The Last Knight ad Credit: Lamar Advertising and Paramount Pictures

As Ad Age reported last year, outdoor advertising is enjoying a renaissance. A couple of new innovative campaigns show why. Lamar Advertising Co. has teamed with Paramount Pictures to promote the new "Transformers: The Last Knight" movie by using billboards to deliver personalized messages to oncoming cars -- like "Attention. Your Honda Civic is an Autobot." Cameras mounted 1,000 feet ahead of the billboards scan vehicle grilles, enabling the targeted messages. Meanwhile, fashion site Highsnobiety this week reported on billboards popping up in Los Angeles by fashion brand Anti Social Social Club. The boards carry a number that when dialed simply returns a morse code that translates to "June 10." "Whether that date refers to another LA-only pop-up shop or a new drop altogether is yet to be confirmed," reported Highsnobiety.

Sky high

MetLife building
MetLife building Credit: MetLife

To the untrained eye, the signage on the MetLife Building in midtown New York City might look the same as usual, but font fanatics will soon notice a change. After kicking Snoopy to the doghouse last year for a rebranding that included a new logo and typeface, the insurer is updating the exterior signage of the building where its name has been displayed for nearly a quarter century. "200 Park is a cultural icon, and a major asset for the MetLife brand," said Howard Pyle, senior VP-customer experience and design at MetLife. "Our new logo represents our partnership with our customers, which will now be reflected in the city's skyline."

Portland, meet Iceland

What do Portland and Iceland have in common? A lot, according to Icelandic vodka brand Reyka, which is targeting the U.S. city in hopes of doubling its volume there. A new campaign by Red Tettemer O'Connell and Partners features a character named Frikki drawing quirky comparisons between the two locales, including a common love of beards.

Number You Need to Know

20 -- The number of stores German discount chain Lidl is opening this summer in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, as it makes its U.S. debut. Lidl, which has about 10,000 stores in Europe, has plans for another 80 East Coast locations by the summer of 2018.

Would You Buy This?

Starbucks Frappuccino
Starbucks Frappuccino Credit: Starbucks

Starbucks clearly has a thing for wacky Frappuccino flavors. (Unicorn, anyone?) Now, patrons in Asia can try three limited-time flavors with somewhat unique textures. The Banana Split Frappuccino comes with strawberry whipped cream, banana, mocha, vanilla whipped cream and waffle pieces; the Matcha Earl Grey Jelly one has bright green tea, a jelly layer and matcha powder; and the Irish Cream Coffee Pudding version includes a coffee pudding base, espresso whipped cream and espresso powder.

Tweet of the Week

Moves

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is boosting its digital prowess with the hire of Kelly McCarthy as senior VP-digital communications. Based in New York, she'll work under Ian Rogers, the luxury conglomerate's chief digital officer and former Apple Music exec tasked with modernizing the fashion house for today's ecommerce. McCarthy formerly worked at Nike and VaynerMedia. Corey duBrowa, SVP of global communications at Starbucks, is leaving the coffee company after seven years to become EVP-chief communications officer at Salesforce. Starbucks said John Kelly would lead its global communications team, in addition to his role as SVP-global responsibility, community & public policy. Salesforce said duBrowa, who joins in July, will report to Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Jack Neff, Jessica Wohl, Adrianne Pasquarelli

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