Walmart's debut for Walmart+ is a docu-style ad featuring 22 diverse families

Directors the Mercadantes were embedded with the families in first campaign from Deutsch

Published On
Sep 10, 2020

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Walmart will launch its biggest campaign of the year with a 60-second anthem spot on NBC’s "Thursday Night Football" opener from new agency Deutsch to back Walmart+, a new membership program rolling out Sept. 15 to take on Amazon Prime.  

The “Different Kind of Membership” campaign features 22 families “as diverse as the customers we serve,” says William White, chief marketing officer of Walmart U.S., in a blog post. The commercials were created by husband-and-wife filmmaking duo Daniel and Katina Mercadante, who were embedded with the families to create documentary-style ads showing what they did with the time and money saved when given an early chance to try Walmart+.

The team generated more than 100 hours of unscripted footage and 30 hours of audio interviews over 14 days from July 14 to Aug. 3 in Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It all was in accordance with COVID-19 production safety guidelines that included testing the families and small production crew, White says. The campaign also will span digital, social, audio and experiential marketing.

Households featured include Asian, Black, LatinX, white and multiracial families, new and single parents, multigenerational households and families with members who have disabilities, White says. The campaign “captures a snapshot into their authentic, chaotic and beautiful lives–from everyday moments, like family dinners, to monumental ones, like the homecoming of a newborn baby,” White says.

Walmart+ is a membership program that costs $98 annually or $12.95 monthly, offering unlimited free same-day delivery on orders $35 and up for 160,000 items. It also includes 5-cent-a-gallon discounts on gas and use of a Scan & Go mobile checkout app at Walmart stores. By comparison, Amazon Prime features unlimited next-day shipping on thousands of items with no minimum order for $119 annually, or $12.99 monthly, and also includes Prime Video and discounts on Amazon Music subscriptions.

“We simply asked people what would you do if we were able to give you more time,” White says. “We heard that they would spend that time on the things that really matter to them, like their families, friends and communities. So instead of going out and hiring a cast to tell you what Walmart+ membership includes, we decided to give early access to 22 families around the country and documented what Walmart+ enabled them to do.”

The anthem spot also portrays membership as a sort of unifying force at a time when civil unrest over racial justice issues and a polarizing national election has left the country anything but unified.

“There are memberships for all kinds of things today,” says a voiceover. “But what about memberships for bigger things? Human things,” including family, community, humanity.

The ad then portrays Walmart+ as a membership that gives people “time to do the things that really matter.” Future ads will delve deeper into specifics of the program and what people do with time and money saved.

“We’re certainly not trying to make a political statement,” White says. “But we chose these 22 families carefully. I think these families represent America. For Walmart, we have 150 million people coming through our doors every week. America is shopping at Walmart.”

Deutsch, Los Angeles, came to Walmart with the idea in winning a pitch “and we jumped on it,” says White, a Target veteran who himself came on board as CMO in April.

“We’re continuing to work with the other agencies,” White says, which include Publicis Groupe’s Department W, MDC-backed Mono and Deutsch’s Interpublic sibling FCB.

“We brought Deutsch in for a little bit of different thinking,” White says. “The work they’ve done over the past several years for a number of clients speaks for itself.”

Credits

Date
Sep 10, 2020
Client :
Walmart
Agency :
Deutsch-Los Angeles
SVP Brand Marketing Creative & Media :
Rich Lehrfeld
VP Marketing Walmart Mobile App and Online Pickup and Delivery :
Cynthia Kleinbaum Milner
VP Brand Strategy and Creative :
Casey Schlaybaugh
VP Creative :
Mark Danzig
Director Walmart Brand Awareness :
Lindsey Williams
Associate Director Walmart Trial :
Helen Schmid
Senior Manager Walmart Utilization and Retention :
Karen Salinsky
Senior Advertising Manager :
Becky Johnson
Creative Director Walmart :
Anthony Cafaro
Senior Account Manager Client Services :
Tara Moore
Senior Account Manager Client Services :
Corrine Taglione
Creative Director :
Chris Macneil
Creative Director :
Mike Frank
Design Director :
Jean-Lou Renoux
Design Director :
Victoria Koehn
Associate Design Director :
Desmond Hsu
Senior Designer :
Karen Pham
Executive Integrated Producer :
Samantha Bonom
Senior Music Supervisor :
Dez Davis
Music Producer :
Will Eichler
Associate Digital Producer :
Kemi Adeniji
Senior Art Buyer :
Jasmine Sarbaz
Senior Print Production Manager :
Sandra Sepulveda
Junior Art Producer :
Margaux Forster
Stills Photographer :
Ben Morris
Lead QA Analyst :
Katie Conlon
Account Supervisor :
Elizabeth Bryant
Strategy Director :
Janet Shih
Director Business Affairs :
Gabriela Farias
Director :
The Mercadantes
Executive Producer :
Scott Howard
Line Producer :
Jed Hubbard
Line Producer :
Maya Owings
Editor :
Leo Scott
Editor :
Kyle Valenta
Editor :
Chris Catanach
Editor :
Fernanda Cardosa
Flame Artist :
Chris Homel
EP :
Lauren Bleiweiss
Post Producer :
Viet-An Nguyen
HoP :
Meagen Carroll
Flame Producer :
Gail Butler
Editor Assistant :
Eik Vogt-Nilsen
Editor Assistant :
Zoe Kraft
Editor Assistant :
Zach Kaigler
Motion Graphics/Animation :
Steelhead
Creative Director/Artist :
Andrea Senise
EP :
Jennifer Mersis
EP :
Carol Dunn
EP :
David Gold
EP :
Kelly Bayett
Song Title :
Father & Sons
Composer :
Dan Romer
Composer :
Saul Simon MacWilliams
Master :
Spark Music Group
Publishing :
Kobalt Music
Sound Design/Final Mix :
Lime Studios
Sound Design/Final Mix :
Rohan Young
Sound Design/Final Mix :
Loren Silber
Sound Design/Final Mix :
Christian Laszlo
Sound Design/Final Mix :
Topher Wright
EP :
Susie Boyajan
Prod :
Kayla Phungglan
VO Credit / English :
DeMane Davis

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