For Kevin Hart, using the Sam’s Club Scan & Go app to walk out of the store without a checkout line feels like he’s getting a sneaky-good deal, as he shows in the retailer’s pre-released 30-second spot—even though every member can use the feature if they want.
See Sam's Club Super Bowl ad where Kevin Hart gets sneaky good deals—just like everyone else
For Sam’s Club, getting into the Super Bowl for the first time is a considerably bigger deal. The chain, tethered to its much bigger corporate sibling Walmart, rarely did TV advertising before former Walmart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Tony Rogers became Chief Member Officer of Sam’s Club more than three years ago, and certainly not with celebrities.
The 30-second Super Bowl entry, set to run at the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter, amounts to a few years of TV budget (not counting co-op funded spots) for the Sam’s Club of the past.
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“For us, the big game represents a platform to do two things,” Rogers said. “First, to take a brand that is massive but not always visible and insert it into the pop culture conversation. And second, to drive mass adoption of our proprietary tool, Scan & Go, that lets you skip the checkout line. Only the big game lets you reach that many people instantly.”
Scan & Go was around years before Rogers arrived at Sam’s, but getting members to put it on their phones and use had been a challenge, and many still don’t. However, Rogers said, “We’ve seen member uptake on it grow dramatically,” adding that “I think it’s one of the highest-rated things in all of Sam’s Club.”
Sam’s Club has already enlisted Usain Bolt, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman in ads on Rogers’ watch in recent years, and Hart previously appeared in ads for the club chain in 2021.
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“We feel like Sam’s is a brand that’s been a bit quiet for its size,” Rogers said, “and sometimes a celebrity can create tailwind and energy for the brand. With Kevin, we were already working with him on our holiday campaign, and somebody from the agency showed us a stand-up bit of his where he talked about taking his family to Disney World on a FastPass. We thought it was hilarious and that it had obvious parallels to Scan & Go, since they both let you bypass the line. And what a perfect spokesperson for our brand. Kevin is a true pro, and his humble, self-deprecating style makes him very likeable.”