Sam's Club launches agency review after incumbent Mono heads back to Target
Sam’s Club has launched a creative agency review, the retailer confirmed, after unusually high-profile creative work and strong results over the past year. The move appears to have been prompted by conflict issues after the chain’s former agency, MDC Partners’ Mono, Minneapolis, returned to the roster of Target.
Consultancy Select Resources International is handling the review. Mono earlier this year was dropped from the roster of Sam’s bigger corporate sibling Walmart, the retailer said. Subsequently, according to a person familiar with the matter, Mono renewed its relationship with Target, for which it had worked prior to beginning work for Walmart in 2017.
A spokesman for Mono confirmed the agency is no longer on the Sam’s roster and not participating in the review, but declined to comment further. Sam’s Club confirmed the review but didn’t respond to queries about Mono’s status. Target didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mono’s most recent work for Sam’s came in March, a rare network primetime TV ad honoring heroics of the club store chain’s workers during the start of the pandemic. A year prior, Mono enlisted Usain Bolt and fellow track Olympian Allyson Felix for a race to see who could be the “Fastest Shopper of All Time” using the club store’s Scan & Go checkout app, in a video that was paired with an integration on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Such efforts marked a significant step up in marketing profile since former Walmart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Tony Rogers became chief member officer of Sam’s in 2018. But the club chain still primarily uses direct mail and digital ads and has gotten most of its TV support over recent years via co-op spots funded by mattress marketer Serta.
Results have improved too. After many years lagging Costco in growth, Sam's Club has matched or exceeded its rival in comparable store sales in recent quarters. For the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 31, Sam’s comparable-store sales excluding fuel soared by 11.1%.