Walmart may get a sales lift from gun, e-cigarette moves: Marketer’s Brief
Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to [email protected]
People like Walmart's moves to curtail guns, ammo and e-cigs
When Walmart says no to guns, ammo and vapes, apparently more people like it than don’t. The giant retailer is likely to get a lift from its recent decisions to ban open carry of firearms in its stores, to stop selling most ammunition other than for hunting rifles, and to stop selling e-cigarettes, according to research firm CivicScience.
A survey of 1,986 adult Walmart shoppers found 29 percent are more likely to shop there due to the new “open carry” policy, with 22 percent saying they’re much more likely and only 19 percent saying they’re less likely and 14 percent much less likely. Similarly, a survey of 1,471 adult U.S. Walmart shoppers found 28 percent were more likely to shop at Walmart stores because of the new restrictions on ammo sales, while only 20 percent are less likely.
Walmart shoppers do skew a bit more toward red states because the retailer has fewer stores in heavily populated coastal cities, John Dick, CEO of CivicScience says. But countering that effect, he says left-leaning folks are more likely to base purchases on political factors than right-leaning folks.
Separately, CivicScience found 81 percent of U.S. consumers support Walmart’s decision to stop selling e-cigarettes, while only 11 percent strongly support it. Dick believes Walmart will win on this decision too, even though its shoppers “significantly over-index as smokers.”
Happiness is…well-fed babies
Happy Family Organics is out with a new campaign from Caveat. The series of short spots feature real families in black-and-white footage of toddlers sleeping at the table, babies avoiding bedtime and kids smiling through routine tasks like teeth-brushing. In one, a voiceover says, “Sometimes happy eats. Sometimes happy sleeps. Sometimes happy does both,” as the child passes out while eating. Happy Family is promoting the campaign by asking consumers to use its #HappinessWinsChallenge hashtag; for each post, the B-Corp-certified company will donate $1 to Spoon, a nutrition-focused nonprofit.
Gettin’ Vizzy with it
Another day, another new hard seltzer. MillerCoors is trying to make up ground in alcohol’s hottest segment with a new seltzer called Vizzy, set for a spring debut. The brewer already offers a seltzer under its Henry’s brand, but that remains far behind the two seltzer leaders: White Claw and Truly. Vizzy will contain 5 percent alcohol-by-volume and be made with super fruits, Beer Business Daily reported this week.
Meanwhile, the brewer is pushing its new Hard Cold Brew Coffee with a new campaign by Mono called “Rally Like a Grownup.” The brew is made in partnership with La Colombe Coffee Roasters, whose name is on the label. It is rolling out in Boston, Denver and Florida’s Tampa/Fort Myers/Treasure Coast area.
Last week, we reported on DiGiorno delivering pizzas for National Pizza Month (October). So far the stunt has proven to be polarizing. While some people were enthusiastic, others felt a little betrayed by the brand so blatantly going against its whole premise and tagline: “It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno.” “So it is delivery,” tweeted one user. “There you go breaking promises again,” tweeted another. This Star Wars meme with Obi Wan Kenobi also got a lot of play:
Would you buy this?
J. Crew has a new twist on the CMO title. The clothier, in a collab with maternity brand Hatch, is selling a $59.50 t-shirt that reads CMO Chief Mama Officer. Maybe the designers read this story?
Number of the week
54 percent: number of online shoppers who subscribe to a subscription box service, according to recent data from Clutch, a ratings and review platform
Tweet of the week
Comings and goings
UK-based Meatless Farm Co. named Lone Thomsen as its global chief marketing officer. Thomsen was most recently a London-based head of media and communications at Coca-Cola Co. and had been a strategic advisor to Meatless Farm before taking the CMO role. The UK-based plant-based meat marketer says it launched in 2018 and got its product into Whole Foods Market in the U.S. this year.
Prudential Financial Inc. promoted Naveen Agarwal to chief marketing officer from customer officer. At the same time, the financial brand promoted Hema Widhani to replace her as chief customer officer; she had been chief marketing and enterprise growth officer of the customer office.
Longtime Coca-Cola executive Stuart Kronauge is leaving the drinks giant effective Jan. 15. Kronauge currently serves as the North American president for the company’s sparkling business unit, which includes brand Coke. Her previous roles included senior VP-marketing/ president of USA Operations.
Procter & Gamble Co. has named Benjamin Spiegel, former CEO of Stagwell Group’s MMI Agency, as its new global chief digital officer for beauty. In his MMI role, Spiegel had worked on digital matters with several P&G brands. MMI has replaced Spiegel with Maggie Malek, who has been at the agency for 10 years, most recently as senior vice president-strategy.
P&G Beauty made the move because “while we are clearly making progress, it became clear that we needed a step change in capability to accelerate our growth,” says spokeswoman Kelly Vanasse. “We believe bringing Ben into P&G Beauty will help us grow, retain and attract the best talent in the industry.” In addition to his MMI role, Spiegel previously led the search practice across GroupM agencies and led the Catalyst business for P&G. Vanasse said P&G will continue working with MMI.
Contributing: Jessica Wohl, Adrianne Pasquarelli, E.J. Schultz, Ilyse Liffreing, Jack Neff