Wal-Mart, mags pairs for ad/content in-store spots

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Wal-Mart has teamed up with a number of magazines, including hot title Lucky, to create a slew of ad-cum-content spots on its in-store TV network, with the aim of inspiring customers to make extra purchases on their trips to the retail behemoth.

Wal-Mart TV Network typically runs five-to-10 second ads from marketers pushing one of their products. But the new deal will see the network- which gets more than 150 million impressions a month, according to Nielsen Media Research-showing 30-second spots originated in partnership with half a dozen magazines, including Readers Digest Association's The Family Handyman and Taste of Home; Time Inc.'s Southern Living and Conde Nast Publications' Lucky. The spots will be based around tips and features from the magazines.

One spot breaking March 8 shows a cover of Lucky with tips on spring fashion, such as layering T-shirts in spring's hot color, pink, and accenting the outfit with a pair of mules in a different pink shade. Spots from other magazines will cover tips on topics from recipes for back-to-school lunches to how to cut grass for a more lush lawn. The Lucky spot ends with a plug for the magazine.

"We're always looking for an opportunity to spread the word about Lucky," said Rick Levine, Lucky's managing editor. "Wal-Mart customers buy 16% to 17% of single copies month after month," he added.

Bonnie Bachar, general manager-North American Publishers Group, Reader's Digest, said tips for the spots stem from The Family Handyman's most popular feature, "Handy Hints," such as tying a piece of wire across a paint can to prevent paint brush drips. She compared the spots to a movie preview and sees Wal-Mart TV as a way to increase single-copy sales as well as a branding opportunity. Eventually, she hopes the spots will be used for specific product tie-ins.

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