Walmart goes back to school with DC Comics superheroes Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, along with background vocals from Whitesnake in an ad breaking today from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York.
The spot pulls out all the stops production-wise, with the effects and costumes feeling as blockbuster as the films that have supported the ad's characters. It helps that Walmart tapped features talent Marc Forster ("World War Z," "Quantum of Solace") to direct.
"It's rooted in an insight around confidence," said Walmart VP-Advertising Chad Fox. "What has more confidence than a superhero? If parents can send their kids back to school feeling like that, then they've done their job setting them up for success."
It's part of Walmart's broader "Life's Greatest Hits" campaig, begun last year and featuring ads backed by mostly rock anthems, including Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" (for the second straight year for back-to-school season), Gary Wright's "DreamWeaver" for a recent spot about Walmart supporting made-in-the-U.S. products, and DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win" for in-store pickup.
"It's relatable to our customers as greatest hits of their lives, whether it's moments with friends and families playing out in the visual narrative or the music they're playing," Fox said. But it's not all about nostalgia: Flo Rida's "My House" from 2015 also anchored a recent ad about fresh food. The idea is to replace voiceovers with lyrics that convey the message in a far more memorable way, Fox said. "Music sticks with you, and you just can't shake it."